Intense and personal Otto Zitko and Louise Bourgeois shape Me, Myself and I at Arnolfini

By Mark Sheerin | 18 May 2010
Black and blue drawing of a clockwise spiral

(Above) Louise Bourgeois, Je T'aime (detail) (2005). Suite of 60 double-sided mixed media drawings. Private Collection, courtesy Cheim and Read, New York. Photo: Christopher Burke

Exhibition: Otto Zitko and Louise Bourgeois – Me, Myself and I, Arnolfini, Bristol, until July 4 2010

Born in 1911, Louise Bourgeois has been drawing for nearly a century. Her recent works are "about the marking of time while waiting for someone special to arrive", according to the French artist herself.

Her series of 60 works on show at Arnolfini are collectively titled JE T'AIME and are said to be as personal as that would suggest. But hearts and flowers do not come into it.

An early drawing from 1946, shown alongside the meditative later works, depicts two figures engaged in an act of cannibalism.

Bourgeois's interest in human relationships has drawn her to psychoanalysis, and her interest in the field finds her paired up here with Austrian interventionist Otto Zitko.

Whereas the sculptor is interested in the Object Relations school of thought, Zitko inhabits an inflantile world of total subjectivity.

With an unbroken, improvised line he covers gallery walls on three floors and takes his abstract scrawl into the foyer and other social spaces.

They do say opposites attract - in which case, it is of course possible Zitko is that special someone Bourgeois has been waiting so long for.

Open 11am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Admission free

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