Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois

Overview
Parisian born Louise Bourgeois’ early career focussed on painting and printmaking, but turned to sculpture in the late 1940’s (MOMA, nd a). Over the following decades, her work was “alternating between forms, materials, and scale, and veering between figuration and abstraction became a basic part of Bourgeois’s vision, even while she continually probed the same themes: loneliness, jealousy, anger, and fear” (ibid). Throughout her life, her work was an outlet, a therapy and a means to cope: “Art is a guarantee of sanity” (ibid).

In the 70’s and 80’s her “focus had shifted to the examination of various kinds of imagery and content” (MOMA). Then, a pivotal retrospective in 1982 at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), heralded a new surge of sculptural work comprising “evocative figures often hanging from wires, and a range of fabric works fashioned from her old clothes” (MOMA, nd a).

Works
Making links to my drawings and generating ideas for approaching work.

“All the while she constantly made drawings on paper, day and night” (MOMA, nd a).


Les Mollusques, c. 1948.
Soft ground etching and engraving, with selective wiping

I can see a link between this ‘record making’ and my drawings. However, Bourgeois quickly diverts from observation, into interpretation and abstraction:


Mosquito, 1999

A useful observation from Bourgeios work is that she reworks a concept or drawing in many ways. With Sainte Sébastienne, a self-portrait exploring being under attack, she “created several additional photocopy studies from this reproduction, experimenting with scale and alterations to the figure’s form” (MOMA, nd b). What a great idea: photocopying originals for further work.


Sainte Sébastienne, 1990
Version 1


Sainte Sébastienne, 1999
Version 2


Sainte Sébastienne, 1996
Study



References
Bourgeois, L. (c. 1948) Les Mollusques in MoMA’s Collection, MoMA Accession Number:154.1990.3,
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/collection_lb/compositions/compositions_id-4472_sov_page-3.html, 5 May 2020

Bourgeois, L. (1999) Mosquito in MoMA’s Collection, MoMA Accession Number:23.2002,
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/collection_lb/compositions/compositions_id-1064_sov_page-7.html, 5 May 2020

Bourgeois, L. (1990) Sainte Sébastienne in MoMA’s Collection, version 1, state IV MoMA Accession Number: 596.1993
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/collection_lb/object/object_objid-71643.html , 5 May 2020

Bourgeois, L. (1996) Sainte Sébastienne, Study,
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/collection_lb/compositions/compositions_id-1173_sov_page-7.html , 5 May 2020

Bourgeois, L. (1999) Sainte Sébastienne, version 2, state VI
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/collection_lb/compositions/compositions_id-1173_sov_page-44.html, 5 May 2020

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), (n. d. a) ‘About the Artist’ in Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints and Books,
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/curated_lb/about/biography.html, 5 May 2020.

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), (n. d. b) Sainte Sébastienne, version 2, state VI
Viewed: https://www.moma.org/s/lb/collection_lb/compositions/compositions_id-1173_sov_page-44.html, 5 May 2020