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Louise Bourgeois was born in 1911 in Paris. She entered the Sorbonne to study mathematics in 1932 but turned to art the next year, enrolling at several art schools, including the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in addition to apprenticing in artists' studios in Montparnasse and Montmartre. She emigrated to New York, in 1938, and continued her studies at the Art Students League. Her first one-person exhibition was held at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, in 1945, and her sculpture was first shown in 1949 at the Peridot Gallery, New York. Greatly influenced by the influx of European Surrealist artists who immigrated to the United States after World War II, Bourgeois’s early sculpture was composed of groupings of abstract and organic shapes, often carved from wood. By the 1960s she began to execute her work in rubber, bronze, and stone, and the pieces themselves became larger, more referential to what has become the dominant theme of her work - her childhood. She has famously stated "My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama." Deeply symbolic, her work uses her relationship with her parents and the role sexuality played in her early family life as a vocabulary in which to understand and remake that history. The anthropomorphic shapes her pieces take - the female and male bodies are continually referenced and remade - are charged with sexuality and innocence and the interplay between the two.
In 1982 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized a retrospective, which traveled to various American venues. Her work has since been shown internationally, including in Documenta 9 (1992) and the São Paulo Bienal of 1996. Bourgeois's first European retrospective was organized in 1989, traveling from the Frankfurter Kunstverein to the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, among other venues. Bourgeois represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1993. Tate Modern, London, organized a major traveling retrospective of her work in 2007. Bourgeois’s work is in the collections of most major museums around the world. She lives in New York.
2011 'Tapies - Louise Bourgeois',Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid, Spain 'Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed', Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 'Louise Bourgeois',Foundation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland 'Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed', Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil 'Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works', Cheim& Read, New York, NY 'Double Sexus: Hans Bellmer and Louise Bourgeois', Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 'Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed', Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 'Do Not Abandon Me: Louise Bourgeois & Tracey Emin',Hauser & Wirth, London, UK 'Louise Bourgeois: Estampes et Dessins', Galerie Lelong, Paris, France
2010 'Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works',Hauser & Wirth, London, UK 'Do Not Abandon Me: Louise Bourgeois & Tracey Emin',Carolina Nitsch Project Room, New York, NY 'Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works',Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova, Venice, Italy 'Louise Bourgeois: Mother and Child', Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA 'Louise Bourgeois: Hang On!!!', Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA 'Louise Bourgeois: Les Fleurs',Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2009 'Louise Bourgeois: Prints',Galleri Andersson Sandström, Stockholm, Sweden 'Awkward Objects' (group exhibition), The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland 'Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective', Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
2008 'Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective', Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA 'Louise Bourgeois', Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy 'Louise Bourgeois: Echo', Cheim & Read Gallery, New York, NY 'Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective', Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY 'Louise Bourgeois: La Rivière Gentille', Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland 'Louise Bourgeois: Nature Study', Inverleith House, Royal Botanic GardenEdinburgh, Scotland 'Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective', Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2007 'Louise Bourgeois: Hours of the Day', Carolina Nitsch Project Room, New York, NY 'Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective', Tate Modern, London, UK 'Louise Bourgeois: New Work', Hauser & Wirth Colnaghi, London, UK 'Louise Bourgeois', Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY 'Louise Bourgeois: Abstraction', Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea 'Bourgeois in Boston', Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Louise Bourgeois is represented by Cheim & Read Gallery, New York, NY.
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