Critic's Choice: Louise Bourgeois

Someone who know all about the business of ageing creatively was Louise Bourgeois. Bourgeois, who was born in Paris on Christmas Day 1911 and died seven years ago at the age of 98 in New York, was still making work until a week before her death.

Bourgeois' work always leaves me tingling. I experience this rarely when looking at art but it invariably happens when I look at work by Louise Bourgeois. There is something raw and visceral about her sculpture, prints and drawings which cuts to the absolute quick.

Loading article content

She is perhaps best known for her spider sculptures, which range in size from four inches to 30 feet work, but as an exhibition at Glasgow Print Studio shows there is so much more in Bourgeois' art armoury.

She began making prints in the 1930s and briefly ran a print workshop in Paris before emigrating with her American husband to New York in 1938. It was a medium through which she found she could endlessly reinvent her own history.

Autobiographical Series (1994), currently on show at Glasgow Print Studio, captures some of Bourgeois' deepest thoughts and memories, while a set of 11 drypoint etchings (all from 1999) pull these anxieties into more abstract territory. Featuring familiar Bourgeois motifs, from the pregnant woman to the cat, the prints in these two series are inspired by a lifetime's worth of obsession with the human condition.

Birth and motherhood are endlessly re-examined in her work. The spine-tingling moment in this show for me was a black and white drypoint and aquatint print called Scissors from 1994, which depicts a large pair of scissors "giving birth" to a smaller pair. They are still connected by a faint umbilical chord.

This is small collection of works but it is better for being small. Less is always more with Louise Bourgeois. She taps into our deepest, darkest collective hearts with works such as the womb-shaped Don't Put Your Foot in Your Mouth and Empty Nest.

She said of printmaking that "the whole history of the creative process if there". There is no denying this truth. If you want to see more of her work, a run of Louise Bourgeois: Artists Rooms has been extended at Perth Museum & Art Gallery until 18 November.

Louise Bourgeois Prints: Autobiographical Series and 11 Drypoints, Glasgow Print Studio, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD 0141 552 0704 www.glasgowprintstudio.co.uk Until 29 October