Biography

Louise Bourgeois, © Foto: 2000 Michele Mattei © 2011, ProLitteris, Zürich
Louise Bourgeois (1911 - 2010)

December 25, 1911 Louise is born in Paris. Her parents Joséphine and Louis Bourgeois run a gallery and restoration workshop for historical tapestries.

1921–1932 Louise attends the Lycée Fénelon in Paris. Her studies are interrupted as Louise accompanies her sick mother for visits to Le Cannet. She recieves her baccalaureate from the Sorbonne in philosophy.

1932 Louise’s mother dies.

1932–1938 She pursues artistic training at various academies in Paris as well as under Fernand Léger, among others.

1938 Louise partitions off a section of her father’s tapestry gallery to sell illustrated books, prints, and paintings. She meets Robert Goldwater in her shop. They marry in Paris and move to New York.

1939 They adopt the orphan Michel.

1940 Their son Jean-Louis is born.

1941 Their son Alain is born.

1945–1953 In New York, Bourgeois has two painting shows before her switch into sculpture. During this period she creates a series of wooden “personages.”

1951 Louise’s father dies, and she falls into a deep depression.

From 1964 After a hiatus of over ten years, Bourgeois begins to exhibit more frequently.

1973 Her husband Robert Goldwater dies.

1982 A retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, brings wider public attention to her work.

2007–2009 A retrospective is shown in London (Tate Modern), Paris (Centre Pompidou), New York (Guggenheim Museum), Los Angeles (The Museum of Contemporary Art), and Washington (Hirshhorn Museum).

May 31, 2010 Louise Bourgeois dies in New York at the age of 98.

Artist Talk with Jerry Gorovoy
Station