5.31.2010

Louise Bourgeois: Dead at 98

. Bourgeois in her Chelsea home (in the Nineties?) with three pink cloth sculptures. As she advanced in age, she appears to have turned to more malleable materials than the marble, metal and wood she wrestled with for much of her career
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Fluent in many mediums, Louise Bourgeois drew from her own painful childhood to create a body of work that was emotionally and viscerally poweful. She worked for decades as a relative unknown--at one point using the roof of her townhouse as a studio--but championed by feminist artists in the Seventies, and by curator Robert Storr, she became well known and highly regarded in late middle age, making her the unofficial patron saint of unheralded midcareer artists everywhere.

I didn't know her, but sometimes I'd walk by her brownstone on 20th Street (a few blocks from my own building on 21st) and see her through the window, drawing. I always loved that.

Holland Cotter, writing for the New York Times, reports it was a heart attack. Read his obit in the New York Times and my own blog post from 2008 on her Guggenheim retrospective. (Next week I'll have images from Mind and Matter, the exhibition currently at MoMA, which features the artist's carved wood sculptures and a fabulous cloth book. )
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Red Room (Child), 1994, mixed media, 83 x 139 x 108 inches. Photo: Marcus Schneider, © Louise Bourgeois, courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum .

6 comments:

Barbara W. said...

thank you, it's somehow comforting that I'm reading it here first..
what an inspiration she is.

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I was watching her on ART21. Wish I was fortunate to have seen her drawing through her window, but then...we all are fortunate to be able to see her works all around museums and galleries.

Thank you for posting.

mariandioguardi.com said...

I feel the loss; a loss of a great, strong woman artist persevering, emerging to recognition in her middle age. I also feel the loss of a time when this was possible.

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

I loved your story about seeing her at work through the window. Hearing that story made me feel good, connected to all the artist quietly working away in their studios. Louise Bourgeois is high on my list of art heros and I will miss her but she does indeed live on through her very human work.

Gwendolyn Plunkett said...

Saddened by this news. Somehow, I thought she would live on forever. She will in the work she left us. Thanks for posting this.

K. Crane: Big Fat Art Cloth said...

She will always live on with me.