“Louise Bourgeois: (1911-2010) Franco-American painter and sculptor, Bourgeois was born in Paris to a family that operated an art gallery specializing in historic tapestries. Dissatisfied with the conservatism of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, she pursued her education at a number of independent academies and in the studios of modernist painters Fernand Leger, Andre Lhote, and others. Her early paintings are notable for their feminist content. In 1949, Bourgeois gave up painting and began experimenting with new sculptural materials that ranged from concrete to marble. Later, Bourgeois focused on naturalistic and amorphous forms. By the seventies, her engagement with feminism had led her to a more assertive depiction of women and further exploration of sexual themes. Her works vary in scale and media, but most often evoke bodies, or parts of them, in order to call into question how the human body is perceived.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.