Since the 1940s, Louise Bourgeois’ unique and enigmatic practice has been mainly defined by her explicit, schematized drawings, her organic and architectural sculpture, and later, through installations that were simply constructed, yet remarkably rich in content. As a child, Louise Bourgeois discovered art while helping to restore tapestries for her family’s business. In the early 1930s, she studied mathematics at the Sorbonne before taking courses in fine art at Paris’ most reknown institutions, including the École du Louvre, the École des Beaux-Arts, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Julian. In 1938, she moved to New York and continued her studies at the Art Students League of New York. In 1945, she held her first solo exhibition at the Bertha Shaefer Gallery, and was included in the annual painting exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her sculpture series, Standing figures, was exhibited at Peridot Gallery in 1949. During this period and throughout the 1950s, she devoted much of her time to the graphic arts, joined the American Abstract Artists group, and later in the 1970s, began working in performance. Known for creating highly psychological and symbolic work that alternates between figuration and abstraction, Louise Bourgeois remains one of the most celebrated artists in contemporary history. Her art practice covers different periods marked by the exploration of mediums and themes often related to personal experiences, where family life, conjugal and sexual relations, childhood and maternity, anxiety, fear and uncertainty are major subjects.

The Red Room - Child, 1994, Wood, metal, wire, glass, and wax.
© The Easton Foundation / VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOCAN, Montréal (2022) • Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay