Born in 1911 in Paris, France; Louise Bourgeois was born into a family of conflict. During her childhood, her father would draw her outline into the skin of a tangerine, and cut the skin out in the shape of a naked girl. After, he would tease: “Look, Louise does not have anything there…” (Louise Bourgeois Art Minimal and Conceptual Only), this was only the beginning of a dramatic, surreal childhood for the now world renowned sculptor. Louise’s father was very competitive with her mother. To such an extent that he would buy clothes for Louise, such as an ermine collar; which Louise didn’t appreciate. Louise considers this the time in her life where she lost her innocence.

Louise Bourgeois was a middle child, which gave her a sense of instability throughout all of her life within the family. She viewed her mother as a protector, and her father as a dictator. Throughout most of her teenage years, she was nearly best friends with the family’s tutor Sadie, who in turn was engaging in an affair with Louise’s father.

So why did Louise Bourgeois get involved in art?
Art guarantees sanity,”she once said.

After her teen years she went to various art schools in Paris, she started out as an engraver and painter, but by the end of her college education, had become more interested in sculpture. When she was 27 years old, she moved from Paris to New York with her husband, the historian Robert Goldwater (this was in 1938, so World War II was going on (and France was obviously not the place to be). This coupled with her family gave her an understandable reason to want to leave).

In New York she continued working with sculpture, creating her artwork by displaying the emotions that have been scarred into her from her childhood. Conflicting views of her father being a dictator her but also being a guide. Inspiring her in many ways, (she also wrote a book about her father named "The Destruction of the Father"). Most of her work is an attempt to recreate a living memory. She has succeeded in that, and also in becoming one of the leading art advocates for feminists.


Sources:
http://members.aol.com/mindwebart2/page150.htm - Louise Bourgeois Art Minimal and Conception Only. Paulo Herkenhoff.
www.pbs.org/art21/artists/bourgeois/ - Art: 21 - Louise Bourgeois biography. PBS.

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