Monday, January 7, 2013

monday thoughts: louise bourgeois

It's really striking that Louise Bourgeois is so popular with all the artistically inclined bloggers/pinners/online writers/whatever you want to call them. Search for her on Pinterest, and you'll get lots of delicate feminine studies and inspiring photos of a "handsome" bohemian-elder-stateswoman type. 

by Helmut Newton, no less

Bourgeois was born in France and became a lifelong New Yorker after her marriage to an American art historian. Some of her work is definitely pretty and appealing in a traditional, comforting, lovely way. Some of it, on the other hand, is intimidating and angry and weird, obsessed with animals and bodies and flesh and ugliness:

If I'm being honest, I like her pretty work better. I happily defend prettiness, after all. But I think her floral paintings and feminine drawings are all the more interesting because we know what else she's capable of—what else is going on. And maybe the "pretty" work is more than simply pretty. For one thing, red is everywhere in her drawings and paintings, and it's such a loaded color.

Complicated, prickly, strong-willed, ambitious, she outlived her husband by more than 35 years, and she worked almost until the day of her death at 98. Apparently she was a bit of a hoarder, and her home studio overflowed with possessions and bits of inspiration. (Wikipedia, as always, leads to all sorts of great information.) Making art at 98: She's a true inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring her! I love her work, but sadly haven't taken the time to read more about her. Thank you for the information :)