Louise Bourgeois Biography

Louise Bourgeois

French / American



Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris on Christmas day in 1911. In the mid-1930s she began her art studies at the Ecole du Louvre, and then the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Académie Julian, and Atelier Fernand Léger. In 1938, after marrying art historian Robert Goldwater, she immigrated to the United States and continued her studies at the Art Students League in New York.

Though her beginnings were in painting and printmaking, by the late 1940s she had turned her attention to sculptural work, for which she is now recognized as a twentieth-century leader. She held teaching positions at various colleges in New York, including the Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College, where she taught sculpture and painting.

She was a member of the American Abstract Artists in the 1950s, and in the 1970s began exhibiting performance art, among them, A Banquet/A Fashion Show of Body Parts. Bourgeois lives in Manhattan. Selected solo and group exhibitions: ASL, NY, 1939; Whitney Biennale (1945); Bertha Gallery, NY (1945); Peridot Gallery, NY, 1949; retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, NY (1982-83); retrospective, Frankfurter Kunstverein (1989). Selected awards and fellowships: National Endowment for the Arts (1973); membership, American Academy for the Arts and Sciences (1981); grand prize, French Ministry of Culture (1991); National Medal of Arts (1997).

Louise Bourgeois died on Monday, May 31, 2010 in her Manhattan home at 98 years of age.