Louise Bourgeois (American/French, 2010)

Sculptor Louise Bourgeois (American/French, born December 25, 1911–died May 31, 2010) is regarded as one of the most successful female artists during her lifetime. Born in Paris, France, Bourgeois studied mathematics at the Sorbonne before switching to Fine Art at École du Louvre and École des Beaux-Arts. In 1938, after marrying American art historian Robert Goldwater, she moved to New York to study painting at the Art Students League. Though influenced by European Abstract Expressionism, Bourgeois did not create abstract art; instead, she used symbolic objects to express psychological themes.

Bourgeois produced wooden sculptures in the late 1940s, and began to create works crafted with non-traditional media, such as latex and plaster, in the 1950s. Her work became more sexually explicit in the 1960s and 1970s, and she gradually received more attention as public attitude changed due to feminism and Postmodernism. She drew international attention at the documenta 9 in Kassel in 1992, and at the Venice Biennale one year later. In 1999, Bourgeois was the first artist commissioned to fill the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London, which held a large retrospective in honor of her 95th birthday. Her work was also exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In 1999, she was honored by the Japanese Art Association with the Praemium Imperiale.

Louise Bourgeois died on May 31, 2010 at the age of 98.


Born in Paris, France
Academie Fenelon, France
Studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, France
Studied at the École du Louvre, Paris, France
Studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
Pupil of Fernand Léger
Academie de la Grande Chaumiere
Emigrated to New York, NY
Vaclav Vytlacil
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Yale University, New Haven, CT
G.S.A. Commission, Manchester, NH
Elected Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston, MA
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Elected Member of American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
Named Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Paris, France
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
President’s Fellows Award, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
President’s Fellows Award, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME
Gold Medal of Honor for Excellence in Art, National Arts Club, New York, NY
Named Fellow for Life at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Honorary Doctorate, the New School, New York, NY
The Sculpture Center Award for Distinction in Sculpture 1990, Sculpture Center, New York, USA
Lifetime Achievement Award, International Sculpture Center, Washington, D.C. (first recipient)
Awarded the Grand Prix National de Sculpture, French Ministry of Culture, Paris, France
Mayor’s Awards for Art & Culture, New York, NY
Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts (DFA) by Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, NY
Maison Francaise, New York University, New York, NY
Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo and Hakone Open-Air Museum, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Biennial Award and Purchase prize for ARCH OF HYSTERIA
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
National Medal of Arts presented by President Clinton at the White House, Washington, D.C.
Academician of the National Academy, New York, NY
Awarded the Golden Lion, for a living master of Contemporary Art, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Praemium Imperiale Award in the sculpture category from the imperial family of Japan
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Boston, MA
Honorary Member, Akademie Der Bildenden Kunste Wien, Austria
Honoree, ArtWalk, Coalition for the Homeless, New York, NY
Wolf Prize in the Arts (Painting and Sculpture), Wolf Foundation, Israel
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
Medal of Honor, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, NY
National Organization For Women, The 2006 Intrepid Award, Washington, D.C.
The United Nations and Women Together, The "Woman Award," New York, NY
French Legion of Honor medal presented by President Sarkozy to Louise
Aragon-Goya Award, Goya Foundation, Aragon Government, Zaragoza, Spain
Inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY
Died in New York, NY


Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden “I Have Been to Hell and Back” (solo)
Tate Modern, London, UK, “Louise Bourgeois: Works on Paper”(solo)
Cheim & Read, New York, USA “Suspension”(solo)
Rare and Important works from a Private Collection, Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France (solo)
Les Papesses, Palais des Papes, Avignon, France
Louise Bourgeois: À l’infini, Hommage zum 100. Geburtstag, Foundation Beyeler / Beyeler Museum AG, Riehen, Switzerland
Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed, Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo, and Museu do Arte Moderno, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Louise Bourgeois: Eugénie Grandet, Maison de Balzac, Paris, France
Otto Zitko & Louise Bourgeois: Me, Myself and I, Arnolfini, Bristol, England
Hans Bellmer – Louise Bourgeois: Double Sexus, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (solo)
Louise Bourgeois. A Stretch of Time, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Louise Bourgeois, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy (solo)
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (solo)
Nature Study, Inverleith House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland
Louise Bourgeois: La Rivière Gentille, Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland
Louise Bourgeois: Echo, Cheim & Read, New York, USA
Bourgeois in Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA (solo)
Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now, Barbican Centre, London, England
Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective, Tate Modern, London, England; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., USA (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: New Work, Hauser & Wirth Colnaghi, London, England
Louise Bourgeois: Recent Prints, Marlborough Graphics, London, England
Louise Bourgeois: Crouching Spider, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, USA
Pure, Sean Kelly, New York, USA
Louise Bourgeois, Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, USA (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: Abstraction, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
Xavier Hufkens Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
After the Revolution: Woman Who Transformed Contemporary Art, Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City, USA
Louise Bourgeois, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Jan Svenungsson, WANAS Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden
52nd International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
All the More Real, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, USA
Louise Bourgeois: La Famille, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: Femme, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Early Drawings, Peter Blum, New York, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Selected Prints on Fabric, Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Back and Forth, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
Sublimation, Hauser & Wirth London, London, England (solo)
Stitches in Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, USA (solo)
Wifredo Lam Centre, Havana, Cuba (solo)
51st International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Permanent Instability, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey
La Femme: Métamorphose de la modernité, Fundació Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain
Disparities and Deformations, SITE Santa Fe's 5th International Biennal, Santa Fe, USA
Louise Bourgeois, Daros Collection, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Louise Bourgeois, Akira Ikeda Gallery Muranchi, Yokosuka, Japan
Drawings by Louise Bourgeois, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, USA
Louise Bourgeois: The Reticent Child, Cheim & Read, New York, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Prints, Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France
A View From the Outside, Louise Bourgeois: The Reticent Child, Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, Austria
Louise Bourgeois, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
Louise Bourgeois, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (solo)
Louise Bourgeois, Dia Center for the Arts, New York, USA (solo)
Louise Bourgeois. The Insomnia Drawings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: Le Jour La Nuit Le Jour, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Louise Bourgeois: Recent Sculptures and Drawings, Beaumontpublic, Luxembourg
Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany
The House of Fiction, Sammlung Hauser & Wirth, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Surrealism: Desire Unbound, Tate Modern, London, England; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Works in Marble, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: New Work, Cheim & Read, New York, USA
Louise Bourgeois at the Hermitage, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden; Museet for Samtidskunst, Oslo, Norway
Louise Bourgeois, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain (solo)
Vital Forms: American Art and Design in the Atomic Age 1940-1960, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA
Rodin to Baselitz: The Torso in Modern Sculpture, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Louise Bourgeois: The Insomnia Drawings, Tate Modern, London, England
Spiders, Rockefeller Center, Public Art Fund, New York, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Neue Arbeiten/Recent Works, Hauer & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: Inaugural Installation of the Tate Modern Art at Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, England
Louise Bourgeois: The Space of Memory, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyungki-do, Korea
The Welcoming Hands by Louise Bourgeois, Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France
Louise Bourgeois: Architecture and Memory, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte - Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Louise Bourgeois: Memoria y arquitectura, Museo Nacional, Centro de Arte Reina Sofìa, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Louise Bourgeois, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany (solo)
The American Century: Art & Culture, 1950-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Regarding Beauty. A View of the Late 20th Century, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Looking for a Place, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Recent Work, Serpentine Gallery, London, England (solo)
Past Tense: Louise Bourgeois, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (solo)
Louise Bourgeois: Topiary, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (solo)
Mirror Images: Women, Surrealism and Self-Representation, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
Louise Bourgeois, Musee d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France; Foundation Belem, Lisbon, Portugal; Kunsthalle Malmo, Malmo, Sweden; Serpentine Gallery, London, England
Sacred and Fatal: The Art of Louise Bourgeois, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, USA
Louise Bourgeois, Yokohama Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Louise Bourgeois, Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Der Ort des Gedächtnisses Skulpturen, Environments und Zeichnungen, 1946-1995, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (solo)
Red Room, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
American Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
The Locus of Memory, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany; Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
Louise Bourgeois: Sculptures, environnements, dessins, 1938-1995, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (solo)
Drawings Retrospective, Musée National d'art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Print Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Musée du Dessin et de l'Estampe Originale, Gravelines, France; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Louise Bourgeois: A Retrospective Exhibition, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany; Musée d'art Contemporain, Lyon, France; Fondacion Tapies, Barcelona, Spain; Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; Kröller-Muller-Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
Louise Bourgeois, Taft Museum, Cincinnati; Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami; Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin; Gallery of Art, Washington University, St. Louis; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, USA
Louise Bourgeois: Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Akron Art Museum, Akron, USA

Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY