Louise Bourgeois (December 25, 1911 – May 31, 2010) is a famous American artist of the twentieth century, a prominent representative of modernism, surrealism and feminist art. She was known for creating large-scale sculptures and installations.
Louise Bourgeois has never been associated with any particular artistic movement. And the main theme of her work for a long time was the feminine. In addition, the artist devoted several decades of her life to teaching.
Biography of Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris to owners of a gallery selling antique tapestries. A few years later, her parents moved to the suburbs of the French capital, where they opened a restoration workshop.
After leaving school, she entered the mathematical faculty of the famous Sorbonne with the firm intention of devoting her life to the exact sciences. After her mother’s death in 1932, she lost interest in mathematics. She even tried to commit suicide by throwing herself into the river in front of her father. Fortunately, he saved his daughter and the girl completed her full course of study at the university in 1935.
After graduating from the Sorbonne, Bourgeois was finally able to devote herself entirely to art. She attended classes at various private schools and academies in Paris, assisted artists in workshops and visited exhibitions. And in 1938, Louise opened her own gallery, where she soon met New York art professor Robert Goldwater.
Personal life of the artist
The young artist fell in love with a university teacher, who reciprocated her feelings, and the couple got married the same year. This marriage turned out to be happy, the couple subsequently had two sons, and they adopted another boy.
Together with her husband, Bourgeois moved permanently to the United States, where she continued her studies at the Art Students League of New York and painting. Despite the support of her husband, Louise had a hard time getting used to the new country. The young woman became interested in sculpture and by the early 1950s she had practically stopped painting.
After the death of her father in 1951, Louise Bourgeois finally received US citizenship and soon joined the AAA (American Abstract Painters) art group.
Under the influence of friends, the artist began to use new materials to create sculptures. Her artistic images acquired frank sexuality and a pronounced feminist orientation. Subsequently, this led to a final break with the abstractionists. But against the backdrop of the sexual revolution of the 1960s, Bourgeois’s work in the United States gained immense popularity.
Later, Louise became seriously interested in feminist ideas and became an active member of the Fight Censorship Group. The artist has never been afraid to openly defend her views.
Louise in old age
In the early 1980s, Louise turned 70 years old, but her advanced age did not affect her performance in any way. On the contrary, Bourgeois’s creative career began to flourish, and she began to receive a large number of offers. Despite being busy, the artist did not stop creating and leading an active social life until her death. She willingly gave interviews, made statements in support of the LGBT community. She traveled the world and received many prestigious awards for her enormous contribution to contemporary art.
The sculptor managed to complete several recent works just a week before her death. Then she ended up in the clinic because of heart problems. And on May 31, 2010, Louise Bourgeois died in a hospital room at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York at the age of 98.