Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois has always been one of art's great scavengers. From her beginnings as an artist in the late 1940s she took whatever she needed from abstraction and surrealism. She took from the body and its soft locales. She took from memory, with its trapdoors and dark alleys. But the thread that runs through her decades' worth of restless art is her experience as a woman, with all the anxieties, grievances and fierce judgments that have accompanied that. Partly because her work couldn't be hitched to any single prevailing "ism," it took decades before Bourgeois, who turns 97 this Christmas, achieved the recognition she deserved. A big retrospective in 1982 announced her arrival. This wonderful show sealed it.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City (6/27 – 9/28) and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (10/26 – 1/25)