Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), dubbed the “Grandmother of Modern Art”, was a painter, printmaker, and sculptor born in France. She spent most of her near century-long lifespan in New York, married to the American critic and curator Robert Goldwater. She studied painting at the Art Students League, and during World War II worked with other European artists living in New York, including Joan Miró and Andre Masson. While she associated with many Abstract Expressionists, she did not consider herself a part of the group, as her works were largely symbolic. The spider and the phallus are recognisable motifs in her works. Her materials were varied, including traditional media such as wood, bronze, and marble, as well as experimental materials such as silicone and latex. The scale of her works is equally versatile, from the miniature to the monumental spider sculptures. From the 1960s, the sexual tone of her work increased. It was not until the Bourgeois was in her sixties that she achieved public appreciation. The Centre Pompidou held an important retrospective of her career in 2007.