Louise Bourgeois


*1911 in Paris
† 2010 in New York
Worked with
Painting, sculpture, drawing, prints and installation

Every Sunday for over three decades Louise Bourgeois held a salon in her New York apartments. Young artists, contemporaries, curators and hangers on turned up, while Bourgeois held court. At these meetings she was firm and engaging, not without criticism but always with an idea for nurturing any obvious talent that turned up. All in all, she was rather like a mother figure. In her own work, with works that brooded on the female's role in society, politics and art making, Bourgeois took aim at patriarchal society with rare verve and humour.

Among her vast output easily the best known of her works are the giant spider sculptures. The largest of these is titled Maman: a monstrous, terrifying work in which we walk with fear and fascination under the giant steel legs of a female spider. Yet her light pencil sketches, almost always of women, prove just as politically sharp.