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December 31, 2013


Filed under: louise bourgeois — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 5:26 am

I got peace of mind, only through the study of rules nobody could change.
—Louise Bourgeois,

In my love of amazingly talented renown women, I have decided to bring to you a series of insanely fabulous female artists who are my all time favorites! LOUISE BOURGEOIS will be the first in our series. What is always of interest to me, is when you read the bit of biography on these women’s lives, although, some privileged, was not the stuff made of an Ozzie and Harriet life.  And how one’s childhood, plays into our daily lives as adults.

I assume that what Louise Bourgeois (born 1911)  meant when she explained that color wasn’t the first thing that we saw when we looked at a work of art was that at first, we encounter form.  We then translate the form into a species or a gender, but not before we feel an emotional sensation.

The rules of the game with modern art is that if it is abstract, whether or not a form reminds us of something or not, that becomes irrelevant.  Modernism spells emotion and a primal response to the initial formation of an idea.  “Avenza,” 1968-69, latex, 21 x 30 x 46 inches may allude to phallic symbols clustered together, but our response to this sculpture may be to circle it and gage as to whether it is predatory or safe.  Only after our initial hesitation, do we begin to relate to it as a work of art.

The artist may be creating a modern sculpture or a painting and subconscious symbols and pictorial thoughts may invade, but color only registers after a form takes on human attributes.  Then, a personality and a sensitivity to an assertion of form occurs.  We are a long way from that during the initial creation of a modern work of art and there is a reason for it.

Modern art is an attempt to expand our consciousness in order to re-introduce us to the process of creating a painting or making a sculpture in the classic, figurative sense.  Louise Bourgeois has sacrificed her life in order to liberate us from the confines of the progenators of the art of the past when humanity was oppressed by the egoism of its oppressors. The cost, let’s say, during the reign of Louis XIV, of producing the tapestries of Gobelins, “The History of the King,” celebrating the glory of the Sun King, may have been equivalent to producing one of our nuclear submarines.

Louise bourgeois was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled MAMAN, which resulted in her being nicknamed the SPiderwoman.  She is recognized today as the founder of confessional art.

In the late 1940′s after moving to New york City with her American husband, she turned to sculpture.  though her works are abstract, they are suggestive of the human figure and

express themes of betrayal, anxiety and loneliness.  Her work was wholly autobiographical, inspired by her childhood trauma of discovering her English governess was also her father’s mistress.

Bourgeois was born on december 25 1911 in paris.  She was the middle child of three.  her parents owned a gallery that dealt primarily in antique tapestries.

A lovely father, NOT, was a tyrannical philanderer and was exceedingly hard on her, as Bourgeois did not meet her father’s expectations due to her lack of ability.  ability to what his ideals were. Not because she was slow.  Bourgeis, as a child, found solace in writing in her diary, as emotions were difficult to express as her mother turned a blind eye to all that was going on with her father.

Bourgeois grew to hate her father, and his explosive temper and how he dominated her mother.

Bourgeois attended the Sorbonne, where she studied mathematics and geometry, subjects she valued for their stability.

Her mother died in 1932 while she was studying mathematics.  this traumatic event made her realize she wanted to study art.

Bourgeois turned to her diaries for inspiration, odd really, and quite interesting.  she drew upon her hatred of her father, his tyranny and all of his infidelities, she used these raw emotions to inspire her sculptures.  The first time i saw a retrospective of hers, was at The Guggenheim in New York, I remember reading her biography and looking at these fantastic sculptures and feeling the emotions.

I do hope you enjoyed the first of my series of my favorite women artists!




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