Louise Bourgeois died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 98. My knowledge of famed French-born artist Louise Bourgeois isn’t so unique that I can tell readers much past what Wikipedia already tells them. Louise Bourgeois moved to America in 1938. “She is best known for her Cells, Spiders, drawings, books and sculptures. Her works are sometimes abstract and she speaks of them in symbolic terms with the main focus being “relationships” – considering an entity in relation to its surroundings… In the seventies, after the deaths of her husband and father, she became a better known artist.”
I’ll leave readers to go over the full the entry on their own. It does a better job of summarizing her career and importance than I can — I’m a bad critic and I waited outside the Guggenheim on the last day of her 2008 retrospective, and never got in. My experiences of her work are unfortunately limited.
Those looking for a robust reflection on her work will find this review by her close friend Stuart Morgan at Frieze more satisfying. From the closing,
If no description exists for what Bourgeois is doing now and if her thoughts seem to be moving in all directions at once, then she is to be applauded. For how many artists have done that? And how many go back and revise previous work: not doing the same thing, but trying to understand it differently: more deeply from year to year. Of course, this is what an oeuvre means. Not a wealth of work — although Bourgeois has made plenty — but the idea of it growing with the artist herself, day by day.