Public Lecture by Briony Fer

Wednesday 5 June

Each year since 2015, the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) jointly support a Visiting Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art. This year we welcome professor Briony Fer (University College London). On Wednesday the 5th of June she will give a Public Lecture at the RKD, titled A textile imaginary: Louise Bourgeois and modern love. Admission is free.

A textile imaginary: Louise Bourgeois and modern love

Louise Bourgeois develops a very distinctive kind of modern sensibility - one that embraces rather than rejects the archaic and the old. In this she seems the very antithesis of a modernist, and yet her textile imaginary brings to the fore a heightened haptic and psychic engagement with the world she inhabited. Bourgeois offers us a counter-model with which to think about the modernism’s historical reach. The talk will look closely at her work with special reference to the tapestry workshop as a kind of origin scene for the work, with Marcel Proust as a guiding critical voice. And most of all Louise Bourgeois will be seen as her own powerful chronicler of modern love. 

Briony Fer

The 2019 fellow is the art historian Briony Fer (1956), professor of History of Art at University College London and a Fellow of the British Academy. She has written extensively on modern and contemporary art. Her research interests have consistently moved between the history of the avant-gardes and the work of contemporary artists, including Gabriel Orozco, Roni Horn, David Batchelor and Tacita Dean. Her books include On Abstract Art (1997) and The Infinite Line (2004) and Eva Hesse: Studiowork (2009) and Gabriel Orozco: thinking in circles (Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2013). Her most recent project has been to co-curate the Anni Albers retrospective at Tate Modern (2018).


  • Date: Wednesday 5 June
  • Location: RKD, Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, The Hague
  • Time: Lecture 4.00 – 5.30 p.m., drinks afterwards
  • Language: English

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