Monday, May 31, 2010

goodbye louise bourgeois

I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands.

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois died today, at the age of 98. 'Amazing artist' doesn't really do justice to the work and the life of this woman, who did so much, and created so much, and had a larger than life role for a whole generation (or more) of women artists. If you are not familiar with her work, you may know her from her giant spider sculptures. But she did so much more--installations, works in many media at different scales. Printmaking and bookmaking and casting and sewing. In different styles and feelings, but together a massive body of work. I discovered her work in a museum in Madrid traveling by myself in the summer of 1998, and was amazed, had to just stop for a moment. She didn't have an easy life, and had perhaps more that her share of pain. She was terrible and difficult to work for. And her work often makes one feel uncomfortable. It is not pretty. She continued working even when very old, in recent years creating more soft sculpture and fabric pieces. She was a true artist, and a great woman. And she left us a lot to think about for a long time.

the guggenheim has an online retrospective here.

from a performance piece at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in philadelphia in 2006.
LB BOUR 10780 stretch of time, 2007 (CB) (150 dpi).jpg
this piece is a mixed media work from 2007, entitled A Stretch of Time. via art news


Abigail Thomas said...

she was an amazing lady

Viktoria said...

Thank you for sharing this!
I am a great admirer of her person and her artwork!

Yvette said...

First I've heard. Thank you for your post. Bourgeois often has inspired me and i,m sad to hear she's gone.