installation artist, Lousie Bourgeois
through her work ignites emotion.
Often disturbing and provocative
Louise explores her inner emotional
canvas through these varied mediums.
What stood out to me most in the
bit of research I did is her ongoing
dialog about womanhood and suppression.
Themes of confinement, relationship,
and sexuality seemed to be a unifying
thread throughout her work.
Bourgeois(1911 -2010) grew up in a wealthy
family however experienced life with a
domineering father who made no secret of
his affair with her childhood tutor.
Later, Louise worked in the family
business of repairing tapestries before
heading off to school to study mathematics,
philosophy at the Sorbonne. In 1934 she
began focusing on art at Ecole de Beaux-Arts.
"Femme Maison" Woman House 1945-47 Oil and ink on linen
In some earlier work like the
series "Femme Maison" or
Woman House (above)1945-47 the artist
is said to be speaking to a "negated
identity that isolates her from the
outside world." (After the Revolution
Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art -
I think, the viewer gets the sense
of confinement with the house covering
the woman's head on the naked body.
I like the primitive quality to this
piece. It's interesting to me, that
the woman's figure almost looks
like a representation of wood sculpture,
which is a medium the artist also
worked in. For me the idea of wood
in the human form connects
becoming impenetrable so that it
could hold/tolerate everything
Some of Bourgeois' later sculptures combine
the feminine and masculine in subtle
yet explicit sexual forms.
"Cumul I" a marble 1969 is an example.
As I look at this I feel the beauty and
craftsmanship as well as discomfort
with the form. Perhaps there's some sense
of over-riding vulnerability in my
humanness that this connects with.
There are elements I suspect of
Bourgeois' unspoken message from
childhood that on some level
we probably all can identity with.
"Cumul I" 1969 Marble
To learn more you can visit
The Moma or click HERE. I also
recommend the book referenced
above After the Revolution -
Women Who Transformed Contemporary