louise bourgeois

(Paris, France 1911 - 2010 New York)

In 1932, she entered the Sorbonne to study mathematics, but abandoned it for art and frequented Fernand Léger’s atelier. In 1938 she married the American critic Robert Goldwater and moved to New York. Though her beginnings were as an engraver and painter, by the 1940s she had turned her attention to sculptural work. In 1945 she had her first solo show of twelve paintings, and in 1949 she first exhibited her sculptures at the Peridot Gallery, the Personage series, influenced by European surrealism, composed of groupings of abstract and organic shapes, carved from wood. By the 1960s she began to execute her work in rubber, bronze, and stone, and the pieces themselves became larger, the imagery more explicitly sexual as she explored the relationship between men and women and the emotional impact of her troubled childhood. In the 1970s, she began to do performance pieces and expanded the scale of her three-dimensional work to large environments. In 1982 the great anthological exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art confirmed her international standing. She represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1993.


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