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.