Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century

Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century

Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century


Louise Bourgeois graced this planet with her presence spanning almost a century, during which she created a wide range of artistic pieces in different languages of materials and expression. She is one of the artists of 20th century who always came back to the psychology, self observation, getting back to the core, finding essence in the childhood memories and events.

Even though she exhibited alongside so many artists, movements and thinkers, her own world seems to be of highly reflective nature, an observational point of the self beyond the constrains of the trends. Many of the movements wanted to absorb her, like surrealism, abstract expressionism, and especially Feminist art, however her style was framed in a way that stands beyond any particular definition and is convincing enough on it’s own. Speaking to the wide range of symbolic and conceptual truths that she was discovering during her long career.


“Quote: I love all artists and I understand them. They are my family and their existence keeps me from being lonely. To be an artist is a guarantee to your fellow humans that the wear and tear of living will not let you become a murderer. ”

Deeply believing that personal story told in the most truthfull, uninhabited and genuine way in expressing one’s artistic language, Louise Bourgeois narated the story of her own mother, her own father, her own circumstances which spoke to the universal archetypes. Universal sense of mother, not only what it means to each individual, a mother that gave birth, and nurtured but also the extanded hand of what mother could become when it is transposed to other areas of life. The same applies to father, what is this primordial figure, so powerfully prominant across cultures of the last several millenials. What does it mean to observe the destruction of father?

Louise Bourgeois is identifying and playing with the fact that our bodies are fragile, they need nurture, and protection, and yet what is inside our bodies seems to be disproportionately capable of sustaining more. Our minds are capable of facing such a demonic world, full of conflicts and struggles but our bodies need care and support, a protective layer of a spider’s web. Spider being a mother, a destiny that is knitting the web all the time. We either get trapped or are trapping all the time but a spider is also a mother of all existence.

“An artist can show things that other people are terrified of expressing.”

The destruction of Father 1974

One of her first installation pieces, deeply rooted in her frustration and broken and shattered idealism, an image she held in her mind about an ideal father, that didn’t live up to her standards due to his infidelityl. The scene of the installation piece is radiating with disjointed body parts, the uselessness of the piles of flesh. Absence of structure before the demon of death as the figure of father with changes of patriarchal system is becoming just a feeling with receding nature.


Maman 1999

A spider is also a place of safety where a ruthless nature of time is ripping apart everything around, except for a web, a protective layer against the sharp edges of the world around. It is creating a special type of cage representing cells. Another series of Louise Bourgeois some of which were created in connection to spider series, symbolically sending the universal message: what nurtures you, it also imprisones you, a false safety that the net can provide. It is not only a safety from the outside but from the inside because already knitted lines or the steps already taken don’t represent the cause of fear, but eventually they have the capability to suffocate.


A Spiral woman

A spiral was a reccuring theme in the work of Louise Bourgeois, appearing at the very beginning probably as a result of her childhood memories working with knitting, twisting and washing the fabric. At the same time this same twisting she symbolically and typical of surrealistic way of thinking at the time transposes to the twisting of circumstances, destiny, correcting the wrong, squeezing out the injustice, in the end realizing that everyone eventually gets squeezed out.





Cumul I 1969

A bubbling form of male and female, overlapping and breathing in and out, while Louise is denying any association to typically male or female forms, this piece is highly associative but not in the expected way, rather it is a landscape of diversity and sameness, pluses and minuses are standing together and creating a landscape of bodies, concepts, spheres that create and destroy life all the time, very detached but at the same time internal.

“Art is restoration: the idea is to repair the damages that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented – which is what fear and anxiety do to a person – into something whole.” ~ Louise Bourgeois

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