Louise Bourgeois (born December 25, 1911) is an artist and sculptor.
Louise Bourgeois was born on Christmas, 1911 in Paris, France. Bourgeois' parents repaired tapestries. At 12, Louise Bourgeois participated in this work by helping to draw the missing segments of the tapestries, which would then be rewoven. At 15 she studied mathematics at the Sorbonne. Her studies of geometry contributed to her early cubist drawings. Still searching, she began painting, studying at the École du Louvre and then the École des Beaux-Arts, and worked as an assistant to Fernand Léger. In 1938 she moved with her American husband to New York City to continue her studies at the Art Students League of New York. Her earliest exhibition, in 1947, consisted of tunnel sculptures and wooden figures, including The Winged Figure (1948). Despite early success in that show, with one of the works being purchased for the Museum of Modern Art, Bourgeois was subsequently ignored by the art market during the fifties and sixties. It was in the seventies, after the deaths of her husband and father, that she became a successful artist. In 1993 she represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. In 1999 she participated in the Melbourne International Biennial 1999. Also in 1999, Bourgeois was the first artist commissioned to fill the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern.
"Three large steel towers, about 30 feet high, dominate the east end of the Turbine Hall. Each tower supports a platform on which two chairs are surrounded by a series of large swivel mirrors. The mirrors with their reflective surfaces create an intense space for contemplation and reflection. Visitors are able to mount spiral staircases on the towers to experience the space of the platform and the Turbine Hall. Bourgeois imagines that the platforms will become the stage for significant conversations and human confrontations. Adjacent to the towers and straddling the bridge of the Turbine Hall is an enormous 35 feet high spider by Bourgeois, the largest she has made."
The installations were later dismantled, the spider sculpture ("Maman") was relocated to Ottawa where it stood outside the entrance to the National Gallery of Canada but has now been moved to the Louvre in paris.
She lives and works in New York City.
She is best known for her 'Cells', 'Spiders' and various drawings, books and sculptures. Her works are sometimes abstract and she speaks of them in symbolic terms, and the main focus is "relationships" - considering an entity in relation to its surroundings. Louise Bourgeois finds inspiration for her works from her childhood: her adulterous father, who had an affair with her governess (who resided in the home), and her mother, who refused to acknowledge it. She claims that she has been the "striking-image" of her father since birth. Bourgeois conveys feelings of anger, betrayal and jealousy, but with playfulness. In her sculpture, she has worked in many different mediums, including rubber, wood, stone, metal, and appropriately for someone who came from a family of tapestry makers, fabric. Some of her pieces consisted of erotic and sexual images, with a motif of "cumuls" (she named the round figures such because they reminded her of cumulus clouds). Her most famous works are possibly the spider structures, titled Maman, from the last dozen years. Maman now stands outside the Tate Modern in London.