MOTHER! was one of the major exhibitions at Louisiana in 2021, and in this connection the revue MOR was published by Louisiana Publications. The mother is our way into the world: the physical starting point and cultural origin. Even if she is lost or absent, we are all sons and daughters. In these years, motherhood is up for debate: the ideal notions of perfect motherhood occupy more space than ever, but at the same time the traditional mother's role occupies less space in a time of active fathers, new family structures and queer parenting.
The exhibition catalog Mother!, The Beginning of Life , published in the series Louisiana Revy, examines the mother as a cultural figure seen through the lens of art. The book features over 150 artworks and objects primarily 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. In some places, it goes back in time to show how motifs in modern art draw on much older images and ideas – from prehistoric fertility goddesses to the Renaissance's idealized Madonna and Child.
Pia Fris Laneth writes about the development of motherhood in Denmark in the 20th century, Neville Rowley about the tradition of Virgin Mary portraits, and Adam Bencard examines birth and fertility from a medical historical perspective.
The richly illustrated catalog also contains a small anthology with some of the most significant depictions of the mother in literary history – from HC Andersen and Marcel Proust to Maggie Nelson.
Louisiana Revy: MOTHER!, The Beginning of Life
Published by Louisiana, 2021
Language: Danish (the book is also available in English)