Born : 25thDecember 1911
Died : 31st May 2010
Born into a prosperous family.
Personal troubles within family.
Suffered from a chronic lung ligament.
Had an emotionally painful past.
Was inspired by The Romantics, Symbolists, Impressionists, Post Impressionists and Surrealists.
Best known for her sculptures and was an icon of the Feminist Movement.
Inspired By Surrealism – 1920s
Andre Masson – “Automatic Drawings”
Louise Bourgeois – “Hang on”
Giorgio de Chirico’s - “The Red Tower
(La Tour Rouge) (1913)”
Louise Bourgeois – “The Curved house”
Magritte’s – “This is not a pipe”
Louise bourgeois – “Pink days and blue days”
Max Ernst – “The Elephant Celebes”
Louise bourgeois – “Spider III 1996”
Judy Chicago : “The Dinner Party”
(Iconic Image From Feminism)
Feminist Art Movement
Began in the late 1960s
Feminism comes in “Waves” :
First wave : “The Suffrage” (18th Century)
Second wave : “Inequalities in laws and culture” (1960s)
Third wave : “Responding to the failure of the second wave” (1990s – Present) :
To make art that reflects women’s lives and experiences and to bring more visibility to women within art.
Political and Social issues :
Reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity rights, equal pay and rights (voting rights), sexual harassment and sexual violence.
In The Art World:
Took place : “California State University Fresno” – 15 female students + instructor “Judy Chicago.”
Examined “Gender Loaded Terms.”
Used “Female Technologies” that pioneered this particular movement – costume, performance and video.
“Elizabeth A. Slacker’s Centre For Feminist Art” – teach new generations about feminism.
Exploring why men and women are treated differently.
Exploring experiences through art e.g. femininity and womanhood.
Influenced : Faith Wilding, Martha Rosier, Mary Kelley, Kate Millet plus two major female modern artists Eva Hesseand Rachel Whiteread.
influenced many writers for e.g. “Kate Millet”.
What The Feminist Movement Has Changed So Far:
a variety of social and cultural change
Religion – reconsiders traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of religion.
the place of women in society
gendered language – e.g. “humanity” instead of “mankind” and the use of the word “master pieces”
relationships between men and women - Divorces
Decisions regarding pregnancy
More employable wages
Access to university and education
Why men and women are treated differently
Percentage Of Change - Females In the Art World Today :
From 2004 to 2007, the percentage of women artists on view in major art institutions:
5-8% at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); 15% at The Whitney Museum; 24% at The 2007 Venice Biennale 27% at Art Basel Miami.
(Source: New York Magazine, “Where are all the Women?” Nov. 26, 2007)
Artists Related To This Movement
“Work Life” : Suzanne Lacy
Focuses on social themes and urban issues.
“Anatomies” : Faith Wilding
Based on psychosexual relations of parents and children.
“Bringing the war home 2004” : Martha Rosier
Work is based on work concerns and social issues.
“Untitled” : Kate Millet
Feminist activist and writer best known for her book “Sexual Politics” during the 1970s.
Key Exhibitions In This Movement :
“Bad Girls” : 1994
“Inside the visible” : 1996
“Wack! Art and Feminist Revolution” : 2007
“Making It Together : Women’s Collaborative Art and Community” : 2000
Major Themes In Her Work :
Theme of the father of that of the mother
These themes portray her work as :
“A confessional biography.”
Important works : “Femme Maison” : 1946-47
Oil and ink on linen
91.5 x 35.5cm
The exterior double as a straight-jacket
The windows and doors serve as the blind eyes and orifices of a mask
“…image of domestic entrapment.”
“Spider” : 1997
Steel, tapestry, wood, glass, fabric, rubber, silver, gold, and bone.
444.5 x 665.5 x 518 cm
“… the mother in question can be inverted projection of Josephine’s omnipotent goodness, against which the helpless daughter symbolically revolts.”
Inspiration : unfulfilled wish to be all–powerful and shame as she felt that she had failed to to meet the high expectations that was set by her mother and also her mothers death.
“Eye to Eye” : 1970
80 x 76 x 76cm
Developed from stacked pieces from past exhibition called : “Blind leading the blind.”
Portray : feeling of unease of being in a group/tension to the crowd.
“Cell 1” : 1991
211 x 244 x 274.5 cm
Feelings of abandonment, dependency and unable to cope.
Symbolism of perfume : evanescence of pleasure and sense of smell – evocation and healing.
Turner Prize winner in 1993 and was the first woman to win it.
The “MOMA” show was just the beginning as it kicked off her career.
“….takes place alongside such emerging or mid- career talents such as Marlene Dumas, Mike Kelley, Raymond Peltibon, PipilottiRist and Luc Tumans …fundamentally forming sculpture.” – Phaido
Inspires young and old as her work is emotional and formally risky.
The Dada movement, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Feminism, Pop Art and also Contemporary Art.
Action Painting, Colour field painting, Lyrical Abstraction and Taschisme (French style of Abstract painting from the 1940s and 1950s).
Examples of artists that have been influenced are:
Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Nauman, Andy Warhol and EvaHesse.
Bruce Nauman shook his head and quoted whilst exhibiting with Bourgeois in 1996 said :
“You’ve gotta watch that woman!”
Famous Quotes from Louise Bourgeois:
“…to view the world is that of a changeling adolescent, on the cup of the mature sexual awakening.”
“Today, once again, I’m placed in a role with demands I am not sure I can fill. How can I help raise money for you. Maybe you picked the wrong medalist. The challenge for me is to prove to you that you were right to trust me…..”
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