Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois, detail from Cell I, 1991

I admire the work of Louise Bourgeois. I love that she works with the emotions in such a frank way. Nearly every piece she makes refers to some personal trauma or desire, many of them from her childhood experiences. Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, fabric with ink and and fabric collage, 68" x 68", 2006

My current favourite quote by Louise Bourgeois is "The needle is not a pin". By this I think she means that the needle has the capacity to mend things, to join things together in a solid way. Reparation is a common element in the fabric work by Louise Bourgeois, and it is not just material things that are mended, but psychological and phenomenological things as well. Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, tpaestry and stainless steel, 74 " x 32" x 23", 2001

One of my favourite pieces by her is a tower made of tapestry blocks, fragile and tippy, like the old lady she was when she created it. It refers to her childhood experiences of helping her parents repair European tapestries, but it leaps ahead eighty years or so, to be a self-portrait of the artist in her dotage. All done with a needle! Judy Martin Louise Bourgeois: A portrait tapestry fabrics, reverse applique, wrapped clover, 13" x 38" 2010

Louise Bourgeois died at the age of 99 last year. Although early in her career she made sculptures from wood and bronze, at the age of 70 she began to work more and more with her own personal collection of clothing. "Art is the guarantee of sanity" Louise Bourgois.


  1. What an amazing post, I had no idea that she worked with textiles, I've only seen some of her earlier work, Maman and harmless woman are the two that I remember, it was about 20 years ago, my memory is not as good as it was, but I can remember being utterly amazed. Just as I am this morning.. Thank you for showing this amazing work...

  2. I am always amazed and surprised when I see her work. There was a wonderful exhibition in London last year that was virtually all textiles. Your piece is beautiful and evocative of Louise's work.

  3. I also love Louise Bourgeois, your post is wonderful. I think that there are parallels between her work and yours. I love coming to your blog and seeing the amazing things you make, and reading your words.

  4. Blogger had some kind of shut down yesterday as I'm sure many of you know. Although they have restored my original post, the three comments went missing. I was able to read them in my gmail inbox however, and want to thank the writers very much. I'll paraphrase them here.
    Gwen also loves Louise Bourgeois and sees parallels between LB's work and mine,
    Gina is always amazed and surprised by LB's work and saw the exhibition in London England last year, my portrait of Louise evokes LB's work.
    Are You Curious About Me? thanked me for introducing her to the fabulous textile work of Louise Bourgeois. She was only familiar with Maman the huge spider, and some of the femme maison drawings.

    While I'm here, I will say again that I much appreciate the feedback that your comments give me. Because of where we live (on an island, under a high ridge of land, we are still on dial up internet. There are many times when I seriously question spending so much time keeping this blog up.

    I keep doing it because it keeps as good a record as any about what I've made, what I'm thinking, special events in my life like birthdays and travel. I like being able to publish my art because otherwise I feel quite isolated.

    Comments are so appreciated. I visit the blogs of those who comment, and am so happy to find so many kindred spirits, as Anne of Green Gables would say.

    Take care and thanks for reading my blog.

  5. I am completely obsessed with Louise Bourgeois textile works right now.
    I saw them for the first time last summer at the MoMa and I have to say that I didn't fall in love with them then. It has been slowly in my mind that I found the sense. And the atraction is growing more and more each day, even without seeing the works... (note to self: buy an art book)


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx