MOTHER! was one of the large scale exhibitions at Louisiana in 2021. Ushering us into the world, our mother is our physical and cultural wellspring. Even if she is lost or absent, we are all sons and daughters. Today, motherhood is put to debate. Ideals of perfect motherhood are more pervasive than ever, while the traditional mother role is less common in a time of active fathers, new family structures and queer parenting.
The book explores the mother as a cultural figure seen through the lens of art, unfolded in more than 150 artworks and objects, mainly from the 20th and 21st centuries – from Mary Cassatt, Picasso, René Magritte and Alice Neel to contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin, Sophie Calle, Kaari Upson, Petrit Halilaj and Laure Prouvost.
Occasionally, it goes back in time to reveal how modern art taps into older images – from prehistoric fertility goddesses to the idealized Renaissance Madonna and Child.
The richly illustrated exhibition catalogue also contains expert texts and a short anthology of pivotal literary depictions of mothers – from Hans Christian Andersen and Marcel Proust to Maggie Nelson.
Louisiana Publications: MOTHER!
Published by Louisiana, 2021
Language: English (The book is also available in Danish)