Thursday, January 10, 2008

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois was born December 25, 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.
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