The Textile Books of Louise Bourgeois

June 09, 2010, 08:56 am  Posted by needlearts

Louise Bourgeois died on May 31st at age 98 after a long and influential artistic career . She is probably best known for her spider sculptures, based on her relationship with her mother, a weaver. Her work focused primarily on human relationships, particularly those of her family of origin; and while exploring these themes, her work ranged into many areas, including surrealism, abstract expressionism, installation art and feminist art. While she spent much of her career as a sculpture, working in bronze, marble, resin, wood, and latex; in her later years, she turned to textile art, producing two and three dimensional stitched and embroidered works in fabric. For an artist whose primary sources of inspiration were childhood memories, this return to textile art seems fitting, since she spent much of her time as a young girl working along side her mother in the family’s tapestry restoration business.

One of her better known textile works (and one of my favorites) is a fabric book created in 2004, called Ode â l’Oubli (Ode to Forgetfulness). The book was constructed of fabrics she had collected over a lifetime and it incorporates a variety of textile techniques, including appliqué, embroidery, tufting, rolling quilting, weaving and layering. Read more about it in an excellent article in the New York Times by Amy Newman.

Visit the peter blum gallery website for a complete set of images.

To see more of her work, including her fabric sculpture, visit Cheim & Read.

And finally, a solo exhibition, curated by Germano Celant, opened in Venice at the Fondazione Vedova exhibition spaces June 5th, and includes fabric drawings made between 2002 and 2008.


7 Responses

    AmandaCarestio says:

    I love the fabric book! Really inspiring stuff…. thanks for bringing this all together.

    sy says:

    the fabric book look amazing *_*

    Mitchell says:

    She is amazing I can't wait to learn more about her.

    Bluemoon406 says:

    I love Louise Bourgeois! I had no idea she worked with so much textile, this is awesome new info….

    Rodin's Muse says:

    ooooooh! So interesting…gives me chills! Thanks!

    [...] I’m currently reading, “Coco Chanel the legend and the life” by Justine Picardie.  I’ve never read anything on Mademoiselle, this book was a gift and I’m finding it a bit captivating.  Not called the Legend for nothing Picardie explores the numerous webs and tales Chanel constantly wove about her life.  It makes me think of Louise Bourgeois spiders and her weblike quilts. [...]

    Gloria says:

    It is wonderful to see these fabric works come together. There are how ever two great missing pieces Louise her self and her right hand Mercedes Katz who made these works of art come to life with her majestic hands. Her beautiful hand stiching and embroidery are in themselves a work of art. Why have we not seen Mercedes at any of the recent exhibits.

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