Louise Bourgeois | the artist
The artist Louise Bourgeois
Born Dec 25 1911, Paris, France.
Died May 31 2010, Manhattan, USA.
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Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.
American sculptor, painter and printmaker, born in Paris in 1911, Louise Bourgeois is an exceptional figure in the contemporary art world. Her career spans some seventy years and touches upon such key moments as Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and feminism. After a lifetime of little artistic recognition, Bourgeois now enjoys cult status.
Born Louise Josephine Bourgeois, Louise was a world renowned French-American artist and sculptor who lived from December 25, 1911 to May 31, 2010. She was an important artist of the modern contemporary art movement and was nicknamed “Spiderwoman” in reference to her most notable works during her heyday.
Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris, France. She has had a rather childhood as caused by her father’s philandering ways. She initially studied mathematics and geometry but abandoned them altogether in favor of the arts, which was soon after her mother died in 1932. She graduated in 1935 and pursued her artwork studies at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere from 1937 to 1938.1 Louise Bourgeois’ later artwork collections spoke of her strong feelings about her father’s infidelity.
Louise Bourgeois met her American historian husband Robert Goldwater in 1938. When they decided to get married, she moved to New York City with him, approximately a year after their wedding. In New York, she started to create abstract sculptures. Not soon after, many of her pieces start to get recognition worldwide. She died of heart failure on May 31, 2010, leaving over two sons, Alain and Jean-Louis Bourgeois. She made her last artwork just a few weeks before her death.
The most prominent works of Louise Bourgeois are the very emotional pieces that stemmed out of her disappointment with her father’s philandering ways. Her pieces predominantly speak of her childhood trauma, insecurity, and hidden emotions. Her instability could have started during the time her mother acquired influenza, as that was also when her father started having affairs with other women, more particularly with Sadie, who is Louise’s English tutor. Louise knew about that affair, detested it, but couldn’t do anything about it as a young child.
Louise Bourgeois has compiled several notable art works from 1947 to just a few weeks before her death. Her most notable sculptures include ‘Seven in a Bed’ (2001), which is a fabric art work; ‘Fillette’ (1968), a latex sculpture that is considered an erotic artwork; ‘Maman’ (1999), which is a steel sculpture 35 feet high displayed at the Tate Modern Museum in London; and Cell XIX, a piece that speaks of fear and captivity. On the other hand, her collection of paintings include ‘Reply to Stanley Hayter’ (1997); ‘Mosquito’ (1999); and ‘The Family I’ (2007).
Interviews and Statements
Louise Bourgeois has been quoted so many times talking about her works. She once stated that, “I am a searcher. I always was. And I still am searching for the missing piece2.” When asked about her fabric artwork collection, she said, “Clothing is an exercise of memory. It makes me explore the past, how did I feel when I wore that…” And for the spider art collection that made her world famous, this is what she has to say about it: “The spider – why the spider? Because my best friend was my mother and she was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, and as useful as a spider.”
Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:
Biography and works
"Works in the TATE collection":http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=2351
"Cell (Eyes and Mirrors) 1989-93.":http://www.oneroom.org/sculptors/bourgeois.html
Centre Pompidou collection
"Louise Bourgeois. Maman: From the outside in.":http://the-artists.org/Louise-Bourgeois.pdf