Famous for her large-scale sculptural and installation works, Louise Bourgeois has led a long and prolific life. She was also a talented painter and a printmaker.
Bourgeois began practicing art in Paris, where she was put in connection with the Surrealists in her early career because of the associative, fantastical features in her art. In her long career, she explored various subjects, domestic and universal, always juxtaposing female and male forms. Her dialectic art is often described as feminist, although the artist never used the term in that way herself.
After she moved to New York in 1938, Bourgeois turned to sculpture. Organic, tactile, evocative forms she created come from her contemplation of the body and its physical presence. Early on, she was using unorthodox materials, such as latex or cloth.
Bourgeois exhibited her work with prominent Abstract Expressionists such as Mark Rothko or Jackson Pollock, and in 1982 she became the first woman to present a solo retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In 1993, Louise Bourgeois was selected to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale. Her work has been shown in virtually every major museum in the world, included in momentous group international exhibitions and she had several significant retrospectives during her lifetime at the Tate Modern and Centre George Pompidou, among other venues.
Compelled to create, Louise Bourgeois saw art as an act of perpetual liberation and a guarantee of sanity. Her influence is yet to be scaled, while she remains one of the most significant artists who created in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Born in Paris, France in 1911, Louise Bourgeois died in New York in 2010, at the age of 98.
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