There are thousands of reasons to crush on artist Louise Bourgeois. She has earned a place among the greatest artists with work currently being exhibited all over the world. She made work that was raw, emotional, and vulnerable. Work that so many, especially women, can relate too.
It wasn’t until I had seen her series Femme Maison that I was captivated by her. Translated to mean Woman House or House Wife, I was blown away by the simple genius of it. As a 25yr old recently married woman, contemplating what my new title of ‘Mrs.’ meant as I was still struggling to find my own identity, these images encapsulated all of the confusion and struggles I felt so effortlessly. To take this complex and conflicting internal emotional battle and simplify it to it’s most literal basic form… it was a moment that altered how I saw art and it’s power to evoke emotion.
The more I have learned about her over the years the more I find myself relating to her struggles as a woman, a wife, a mom, a human being that exists on this planet. I find a comfort in her work. She is vulnerable in her interviews and in her work in a way I am often too afraid to be with myself.
When asked about her work she has been quoted as saying:
“The subject of pain is the business I am in. To give meaning and shape to frustration and suffering. The existence of pain cannot be denied. I propose no remedies or excuses.”
In December I had the opportunity to go to MoMA to see the current exhibition there of her work, Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait. It was incredible to see some of her work in person, especially prints from Femme Maison. It’s one thing to see the work in a book or online, but in person you experience the subtle tactility of the art work that can not be experienced in any other way. When I left I was even more inspired by her and her artwork.
As always, thanks for reading.
Where to Learn More about the Artist:
How To See The Artist with MoMA Chief Curator Emerita Deborah Wye
Art21: Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois, Influential Sculptor, Dies at 98
Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress, and The Tangerine
Ladylike Artists is a weekly feature on my blog where I write about a female artist that has inspired me. My interest for learning more about women artists peaked when I realized that art history rarely talks about them, saving their stories and work for specialized classes and books. There are more woman artists than we realize! I hope their stories inspire you to ignore whatever boundaries are stopping you from pursuing your passion.