Louise Bourgeois Prints
World renowned sculptor, Louise Bourgeois was born in France but lived most of her life in New York City. She has a well-documented difficult childhood stemming mostly from an unfaithful and dominating father who took very little interest her talents. Of her father’s trysts, his relationship with Sadie, the English tutor of Bourgeois, was of particular importance. All of these are experiences that would show themselves in her work later in life. In addition to her sculptures, Bourgeois is also known for her paintings and printmaking but it’s her sculptures which are the most famous and have sold for millions at auctions.
As a young woman in Paris, Bourgeois studied mathematics at the Sorbonne, which at the time housed the University of Paris. Bourgeois is known for enjoying mathematics due to its rules that “nobody could change.” After the Sorbonne, Bourgeois studied at various art schools such as the well-known École des Beaux-Arts which has produced a number of well-known artists from various countries and backgrounds.
Next to her father’s tapestry store and with his help she opened a print store. It seemed her father was please that Bourgeois was spending her time doing something other than art. It was at her print store, in 1938, that she met her husband, Robert Goldwater who was an American art historian. They were married that same year. Bourgeois left Paris to join her husband in the United States. The couple have two children despite early trouble with conceiving.
For most of her career, Bourgeois was associated with Abstract Expressionists as she typically exhibited with that movement. However, her work was never actually associated with a movement and despite the fact that the subject of her work was often feminine in nature, Bourgeois rejected the notion that her work was feminist. Regarding the feminist nature of her work, Bourgeois is known to have said that her work is more related to “problems that are pregender,” she went on to provide the example of jealousy which, as she described it, “is not male or female.” Bourgeois was a member of the American Abstract Artists Group and it was through this association this association that she became friends with many artists from that era including Jackson Pollock.
He sculptures varied throughout her career with her early work being more abstract or organic and often carved from wood. The material Bourgeois used varied as she got older often using rubber, bronze and stone. It was at this time that her childhood memories began to reveal themselves. Often her themes were relating to parenthood and sexuality.
Bourgeois died at the age of 98 in 2010 in Manhattan. Bourgeois was an active artist until her death. Her art has incredible value. When the sculpture titled Spider solid in 2011 for $10.7 million, it was the highest paid for a work created by a woman. Her work eclipsed that mark in 2015 when another piece was auctioned at $28.2 million.
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