There is an incredible documentary about Louise Bourgeois on ABC iView at the moment. It is called The Spider, The Mistress and the Tangerine. If you miss it on iView, it is on Youtube too.
Here is the iView link:
I took the above photo of Bourgeois' Spider at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. In the doco it mentions that there are versions of this sculpture in about eight cities around the world. She says the spider is her mother - totally reliable but without a burst of passion.
Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 and moved to New York City in 1938 after marrying an American in Paris.
She was quite an outsider, objecting fiercely to Surrealism in the early 20th century and again not falling into the Formalism that defined a majority of American sculpture in the mid 20th Century.
She said "you have to be aggressive to be a sculptor - to want to change things - not to accept them as they are."
She believed that the purpose of sculpture was self knowledge.
Louise Bourgeois died in 2010 aged Ninety Eight.
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