Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Louise Bourgeois at Hamburg Kunsthalle

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) Maman, 1999 Installation vor der Hamburger Kunsthalle 2012 Bronze mit Silbernitratpatina, Edelstahl und Marmor; 927,1 x 891,5 x 1023,6 cm Collection The Easton Foundation, Courtesy Cheim & Read und Hauser & Wirth Photo: Hamburger Kunsthalle/Kay Riechers © Louise Bourgeois Trust;
VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012

Through June 17, 2012 the Hamburg Kunsthalle is celebrating the artwork of Louise Bourgeois on what would have been her 100th birthday.

Her work is so diverse that it is hard to characterize. Her oeuvre includes sculpture, prints, and installation art. She has been called the Spiderwoman after her spider structures called Maman.This piece is a 30 foot sculpture constructed in steel, bronze, and marble. The spider is a recurring theme in her work in remembrance of her mother. For Bourgeois, the spider symbolized maternal benevolence, a tone that is seen throughout her work

Bourgeois was born on 25 December 1911 in Paris, She discovered as a child that her governess was also her father’s mistress. This trauma has played into her work, much or which convey, anxiety, and expresses themes of betrayal, anxiety, and loneliness.

Originally stydung mathematics, she discovered her love of art and eventually graduated from the Sorbonne in 1935. Her later art years saw her join the American Abstract Artists Group, where she became frinds with Willem De Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Jackson Pollock. She began working in wood and during the early fifties she began working in marble, plaster and bronze, where she began to examine her concerns of fear and vulnerability.

One of her famous pieces, Destruction of Father (1974) is a biographical and a psychological exploration of the power dominance of father and his offspring. The piece is a flesh-toned installation in a soft and womb-like room. Made of plaster, latex, wood, fabric, and red light, Destruction of the Fatherwas the first piece in which she used soft materials on a large scale. Upon entering the installation, the viewer stands in the aftermath of a crime. Set in a stylized dining room (with the dual impact of a bedroom), the abstract blob-like children of an overbearing father have rebelled, murdered, and eaten him. (from wikipedia)

Read more about Louise Bourgeois at



New York Times.

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