I shed a tear when I heard that Louise Bourgeois passed away a few weeks ago. What a loss for the contemporary art world!
[I realize that I just did a 'ode to Dennis Hopper' a few weeks ago, and I promise this blog won't turn into a bunch of obituaries, but her passing was something I couldn't overlook.]
I've always admired her work, and encountered lots of her pieces in my visit to museums. Seems like most museums want to boast having a Bourgeois. One piece stands out in my memory. At the Venice Biennale in 2005 at the Arsenale building I simply fell in love with these sculptures (pictured below when they were at the Guggenheim, New York).
The piece (sorry I don't remember the name!) was hung in one of the tallest galleries and it created this play on space and weight that I couldn't get enough of. I remember standing beneath it in fear thinking that they could fall on me and kill me. But I still stood there just marveling.
Some of her other pieces, to be perfectly honest, I don't enjoy as much. Towards the end of her career she moved into creating many pieces of or about spiders. Not my cup of tea, but I do enjoy their rediculous size, as in this piece, The Crouching Spider, installed outside in San Francisco.
Smithsonian has one also, outside the Hirschorn Museum. Their blog 'Around the Mall' says "[Bourgeois] has created many such spiders and seems to consider them maternal protectresses that are powerful and delicate at the same time. (Note how its legs balance so precariously on the ground.)"
Bourgeois lived to by 97 and was making art & being creative right up to the end. Here is her obituary from the New York Times.