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  • BOURGEOIS, Louise
    b.1911






    Artist
    BIOG. / GALLERY



  • Louise Bourgeois was born in 1911 in Paris. She entered the Sorbonne to study mathematics in 1932 but turned to art the next year, enrolling at several art schools, including the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in addition to apprenticing in artists' studios in Montparnasse and Montmartre. She emigrated to New York, in 1938, and continued her studies at the Art Students League. Her first one-person exhibition was held at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, in 1945, and her sculpture was first shown in 1949 at the Peridot Gallery, New York. In 1982 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized a retrospective, which traveled to various American venues. Her work has since been shown internationally, including in Documenta 9 (1992) and the SŃo Paulo Bienal of 1996. Bourgeois's first European retrospective was organized in 1989, traveling from the Frankfurter Kunstverein to the Stńdtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, and the Fundaciˇ Antoni TÓpies, Barcelona, among other venues. Bourgeois represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1993.


    Biog II

    (2006)

  • Over the past intensely productive decade, Louise Bourgeois's drawings have been dominated by diary-like work in which text and sign often mix. Long denied due recognition, Bourgeois became an avant-garde superstar late in life, and is today, at 95, considered "a great figure of the postmodern" (Peter Weiermair). Since the 1980s, her work has followed the prevalent notion of art that rejects universal style and formal understanding in favor of a personal approach. Her central concern lies in establishing an intense, open discussion on the dialectics of thoughts and feelings, on the internal conflict wrought by external relationships. Works are grouped thematically around motifs such as "rivers," "spiders" and "proverbs/aperšus." Present work is full of dark and dervish-like activity.

    Of her prominence, Bourgeois has said, "My luck was that I became famous so late that fame could not destroy me." On the contrary, readers will agree that fame--or is it time?--has invigorated and animated Bourgeois to an exceptional degree.


    Born in Paris in 1911 and a New Yorker since 1938, Louise Bourgeois created a unique oeuvre that owes no allegiance to 20th-century "isms" in the course of a career than has spanned more than 60 years. Her art is grounded in her own life and experience: "My goal is to re-experience a past emotion...to relive anxiety...anxiety is a passive state, and the object is to be active and take control." Yet Louise Bourgeois did not create an autonomous universe as an artistic hermit. While her art is nourished by personal experience, it also draws from art and art history--a wellspring of inspiration from which she developed her themes, concepts, and approach to media in both two- and three-dimensional works.


    Gallery


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