Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was a renowned French-American sculptor and printmaker. She studied art at various schools in France, including the Ecole du Louvre, Academie des Beau-Arts, Academie Julian, and Atelier Fernand Leger. In 1938 she emigrated and continued her studies at the Art Students League in New York.
Though her beginnings were as an engraver and painter, Bourgeois turned her attention to sculptural work by the 1940s and began exhibiting in 1947. Her early sculpture, groupings of abstract and organic shapes carved from wood, was effected by the influx of European Surrealists artists who arrived in the US after World War II. She has since experimented with a variety of media, working in rubber, bronze, and stone. Printmaking was a major part of her practice throughout her life. She found inspiration in her personal life and childhood, including her experience working in her parents’ Parisian tapestry business. Her works focus on relationships, between people or between an entity and its surroundings, and often convey intense emotions with a concurrent sense of playfulness.
Born in Paris, Bourgeois represented the US in the 1993 Venice Biennale, and she was the first artist commissioned to fill the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London. Her work is in the collections of most major museums around the world. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois” by Deborah Wye and Carol Smith was published in 1994.