Thursday, June 3, 2010

Louise Bourgeois: December 25, 1911 - May 31, 2010

Monday one of the most amazing sculptors the world has seen died of a heart attack. Louise was easily one of my favorite artists, I have a file of images on my computer and a book on my shelf I thumb through frequently when stuck for an idea. At the age of 98, she remained one of the most interesting and relevant artists of these times.

I've heard tales of the Sunday Salon's she held at her home in Chelsea, they were said to be rather intense. A friend of mine attended one once, he said the understanding was that you were to bring her chocolate in exchange for her time and that the place was set up with a well-stocked bar, I imagine to offset the nerves of those in attendance.

The stories go that many leave in tears after one of her critiques but my friend said they got along just fine. His work is about desire, one of Louise's favorites, so go figure.

I never had the guts, or the time, to go myself. Part of me regrets that but another part of me knows that sometimes its better not to meet a hero. How could the person ever live up to the expectation? How would I feel if she hated my work? I could tell myself that at least it evoked a reaction from her, but I think I'm better off just not knowing.

It's hard to choose a favorite piece but I naturally gravitate toward her figurative pieces, the fiber work and drawings.

And this piece, Blind Man's Bluff,

which inspired a pivotal piece for me during graduate school: "I dreamed the fibroid's overwhelmed my body" latex and bedsheets, 2002.

Rest in Peace, Louise. You will be missed.

1 comment:

'odd and old' Linda Dacey said...

She was indeed an amazing and inspirational artist and woman; my books on her are also well thumbed. I too am an artist living in France and am host to a family of swelling fibroids haha YUK! i'll be back soon to follow your blog Thanks Linda x