1911 - 2010
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 and died in New York in 2010. Of French – American nationality, Bourgeois was a sculptor, installation artist, painter and printmaker. She trained at the Sorbonne; Académie de la Grande Chaumière; Ecole du Louvre and Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Tate Modern held a major travelling retrospective of her work in 2007, where at the opening a massive example of her Spider structures in bronze was displayed in the Turbine Hall. It was titled Maman, (Mummy).
Considered the inventor of the Confessional art Movement, her autobiographical subjects include, Maman, the Destruction of the Father and Cages, expressing themes of betrayal, anxiety, and loneliness. Her sculpture is abstract but suggestive of the human figure. In the late 1940s Bourgeois moved to New York with her American husband. Many years elapsed until the Museum of Modern Art, New York held a retrospective exhibition of her work in 1981 and she represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1993. Louise Bourgeois was awarded the Legion d’Honeur in 1998.