Femmes Maison - Louise BourgoisAt the age of 40, Louise Bourgeois, a wife and mother of three young boys, exhibited a group of painted abstract wooden figures in a gallery in New York. One of them, ‘Sleeping Figure’, was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art.
She was part of that post war generation of women written about by the early feminists Simone de Bouvoir and Betty Friedan. One of those women who, because of the current ideals of post war America, probably experienced some of “the yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the U.S. …afraid to ask even of herself, the silent question, ‘is this all?’
Don't Abandon Me - Louise BourgoisBecause of her challenge to the status quo of society in general in the late 40’s and 50’s and to the masculine ethos of modernism, Louise Bourgeois’ work was looked at with renewed interest by the feminist movement in the early 1970’s and
1980’s. Lucy Lippard, the renowned feminist art critic wrote about her “Rarely has an abstract art been so directly and honestly informed by its maker’s psyche. It can’t be categorised. Can’t be art historicised”.
Over her 70 year career she has not had a signature material, but has experimented with a wide variety and managed to remain ‘contemporary’ for three separate generations. She turns 98 this year and although she is an undeniable influence on younger women artists she remains famously neurotic.
“Art is the guarantee of sanity” is her mantra.