ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Sculpture, Statues & Carving

Louise Burgeois

Updated on July 26, 2010

Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist. She was born in Paris in 1911, and recently the Vedova Foundation in Venice was preparing an exhibition (title: The Fabric works) in her honour, when the news of her sudden death arrived. Bourgeois died on May 2010, in New York.

She can be considered one of greatest artist of the 20th century. Her influences are from Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, but she escapes any classification. She built her own way of doing art. On the website of the Centre Pompidou you can find a very interesting educational dossier dedicated to Bourgeois.

Spiders

She is well-known for her spiders, which gave her the nickname of spider-women. Her spiders are huge sculptures made of different types of metal. If you have seen one of those spiders, the first thing you've probably noticed is the size. They are much bigger than a human being -- thirty or forty times bigger. Their legs can be four, five, seven meters long. The spectator is immediately surprised and overwhelmed by the size of those spiders but also by the muscular force of their flexuous legs.

It is as though one could be devoured right away. The sensation is that of anxiety, fear, impotence on the part of the spectator. At the same time, however, these flexuous metallic constructions are rigid, unmovable, detached and somehow innocuous. At times, one can also feel a sense of nurturing, love, care, and protection.

A detail of the body of the spider, shown in its entirety in the other picture.
A detail of the body of the spider, shown in its entirety in the other picture.

Fear and memory

A sense of anxiety and fear, along with unattained happiness, is a recurrent theme in Burgeois' artistic works. In her own words:

Art comes from life. Art comes from the problem you have in seducing birds, men, snakes--anything you want. It is like a Corneille tragedy where everybody is pursuing somebody else: you like A, A likes D, and D likes… Being a daughter of Voltaire and having an education in the 18th-century rationalists, I believe that if you work enough, the world is going to get better. If I work like a dog on all these…contraptions, I am going to get the bird I want… [Yet] the end result is rather negative. That's why I keep going. The resolution never appears; it's like a mirage. I do not get the satisfaction, otherwise I would stop and be happy.

Another recurrent theme in her work is that of memory. She associated sometimes her spiders to a mother figure. The web that the spider spinns and constructs is a web of memories, which can be nurturing and loving, but also oppressing and suffocating.

Fabric works

The exhibition The Fabric Works that the Vedova Foundation in Venice was organizing when Bourgeois died is centered around her fabric drawings. Burgeois produced them between 2002 and 2008. They are the result of an obbessive and monotonous insistence on straight and parellel lines, combined in various way -- sometimes yielding the figure of a spider-web, sometimes yielding hallucinating figures that is painful to look at, because they confuse and fatigue the eyes.

It seems that Bourgeois spent sleepless and frustrating nights, drawing straight and parallel lines, and so she combined the fruits of those nights into some of her fabric works.

As she herself would say, if she were happy, she would stop -- and she would sleep. But she was not happy, she was not content. So, she kept creating art, out of fear, anxiety, and love, until death took her away from us.



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)