Louise Bourgeois

Year and place of birth: 1911, Paris, France Date of death: 2010 , USA
Louise Bourgeois standing figure 8300 CB 1 MD3

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Louise Joséphine Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. Her parents ran a tapestry restoration workshop and gallery and young Louise soon became involved, helping to draw missing elements in tapestries. First studying geometry, Bourgeois turned fully to art in the early 1930s. She took classes at various art schools and ateliers, and art history at the Ecole du Louvre. In 1938, she met and married American art historian Robert Goldwater and moved to New York, where they raised three sons. During the first decade of her practice, Bourgeoisfocused on painting and printmaking. She turned definitively to sculpture in the late 1940s. Between the 1950s and early 1960s, she became immersed in psychoanalysis, which deeply affected her work. During her long artistic career, she explored sensitive subjects such as death, familial traumas, isolation and solitude, the female body and sexuality through materials sourced from her personal history. Bourgeois said that all her works and subjects found their origin in her early childhood: the relationship with her parents and siblings, as well as her experiences in the family business with tapestries and fabrics. Bourgeois’s works evade easy classification; she exhibited with the Surrealists, Abstract Expressionists, and Feminist artists of the 1970s. Her monumental works, such as her Cells series and spider sculptures, for which is she well-known, were made in the 1990s and 2000s. Bourgeois had her first retrospective at MoMA in New York in 1982 when the artist was seventy-one years old.

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