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Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine...



Having just recently learned of the death of an artist, a beautiful and yet tortured soul, I felt I had to put pen to paper... It doesn't sound so romantic when we say 'put fingers to tippy-tappy', does it?

This from my cousins born to my mother's soeur, Auntie Beeb:

"French-born American sculptor Louise Bourgeois has died in New York, at the age of 98.

Based in New York since 1938, Bourgeois gained fame late in her long career and kept working to the end of her life.

Her giant spider sculptures have been exhibited around the world and earned her the nickname of Spiderwoman.

Her abstract explorations of themes such as birth, sexuality and death made her one of the world's most influential contemporary artists.

Bourgeois suffered a heart attack two days ago.

Although she had long been regarded by her contemporaries as one of the world's most important artists, it was not until her seventies that she began to attract a wider audience.

French-born artist Louise Bourgeois' sculpture of a giant spider outside Tate Modern in London in October 2007
Bourgeois titled this 30-ft (nine-metre) tall spider "Maman"


Her spider sculptures - some of which are three storeys high - have been exhibited around the world, including the Tate Modern in London.

In a statement, the gallery said: "We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Louise Bourgeois this weekend. Always at the forefront of new developments in art, she pursued a wholly personal path and was powerfully inventive, working in dialogue with the major avant-garde movements of her time".


I first saw the work of Louise Bourgeois only a few months ago, when I watched a somewhat cryptic film about her art, entitled Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine...

Her life and art spiralled around the facts of her bourgeois childhood, with her father fathering a child by her governess who lived in her home, while her mother attempted to ignore the situation... Her work dealt with relationships, motherhood, birth, death and re-birth...

I saw Louise speak about her life and her art, not without wit, while she whittled away at a wooden piece which she had been working on for many years, much like those she is surrounded by in the photo above...

A womanly figure emerged from the shavings. A totem. She also used metal and rubber, stone and even fabric in her life, somewhat fitting as the daughter of tapissiers...


Louise went on to influence many among of the modern circle of artists, including Rachel Whiteread, one of my favourites, who is fond of making casts of interiors of buildings and objects. Rachel won the Turner Prize in 1993, with this piece, House:


I hope Louise had a wonderful life.

5 comments:

carma said...

I can definitely appreciate her work. Seems she was a bit ahead of her time. That huge spider is fantastic.

Mrs Jones said...

I saw her enormous spider sculpture, called 'Maman', when it was at Tate Modern. It was brilliant - terrifying because it was a spider, but gentle because it was a mother (you could see the eggs in her belly), spindly because spids are like that, but tough because she was made of metal. Full of contrasts and utterly fabulous.

saz said...

oh dear l hadnt heard, l watched a programme about her last week....perhaps that was why t was shown...

unusual and provoking artist...

great post..
hope you had a lovely few days..
saz xxx

slommler said...

I have always loved Louise and her art. She was always evolving. She was not noticed till well after she was 60 years old!!! Kept her art stored in a warehouse!! Gotta love her stamina! I was sad to hear of her passing.
Hugs
SueAnn

Moannie said...

I too saw her Spider [shiver! Even find the name difficult] T'was my worst nightmare come true, though even in my parlous state I could appreciate the work.

Something I wrote earlier...

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