Vale Louise Bourgeois

News Jun 01, 2010 2 Comments

“Louise Bourgeois, the French-born American artist who gained fame only late in a long career, when her psychologically charged abstract sculptures, drawings, and prints had a galvanizing effect on younger artists––particularly women––has died at the Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, reports Holland Cotter for the New York Times. She was 98. Wendy Williams, the managing director of Bourgeois’s studio, confirmed her death.

“Bourgeois’s sculptures in wood, steel, stone, and cast rubber, often organic in form and sexually explicit, emotionally aggressive yet witty, covered many stylistic bases. But from first to last they shared a set of repeated themes, centered on the human body and its need for nurture and protection in a frightening world, notes Cotter.

“Among her most familiar sculptures, Nature Study, 1984, depicts a headless sphinx with powerful claws and multiple breasts. Of her most provocative is Fillette, 1968, a large, detached latex phallus. Bourgeois can be seen carrying this object, nonchalantly tucked under one arm, in a portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe, which was taken for the catalogue of her 1982 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art…”

Read More: Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), ArtForum

“Bourgeois, inspired at the beginning of her career by Max Ernst and Constantin Brancusi, has never classed herself into a particular artistic grouping, preferring instead to pursue her own personal brand of art.

“All my inspiration comes from my childhood, from my education, from France at a certain moment in my life,” the artist once said.

Born in Paris on December 25, 1911, Bourgeois moved to the United States in 1938 where she produced the bulk of her emotionally powerful and provocative art which explored the traumas of her childhood and sexuality.

Her parents owned a studio that restored tapestries. She had a troubled relationship with her father, never forgiving him for his infidelity to her mother.

Bourgeois studied art in Paris and in 1938 married American art historian Robert Goldwater and left for New York.

She became a US citizen in 1951 and had three children before being widowed in 1973.

She is survived by her two sons Alain and Jean-Louis. Her third son Michel died in 1990.

Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer said she “orbited Bourgeois” and that “my artist friends and I are crying today.”

Read More: Artist Louise Bourgeois dies in New York

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Andrew Frost


  1. uncle charlie

    Just what is your beef, Aussie cretin? Is it some kind of personal best to have saturation-bombed this art blog with your comments (Today’s ‘Recent Comments’: 10/10 to Aussie cretin)?

    You’re starting to sound like a bully – if you don’t like this blog or its admin, why bother with it at all?

    Your long-suffering mum is bang on the money – you’re just a rebellious, nihilistic juvenile with nothing constructive to say.

  2. Aussie cretin

    After repeated violations of our Terms of Use this reader is now banned.

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