Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (French pronunciation: [lwiz buʁʒwa]; 25 December 1911 – 31 May 2010), was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled Maman, which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman. She is recognized today as the founder of confessional art
In the late 1940s, after moving to New York City with her American husband, Robert Goldwater, she turned to sculpture. Though her works are abstract, they are suggestive of the human figure and express themes of betrayal, anxiety, and loneliness. Her work was wholly autobiographical, inspired by her childhood trauma of discovering that her English governess was also her father’s mistress.
Art, like mathematics, is simply determining relationships between things. Kelly’s passion is the human form. Whether painting
from a live model or creating sculptures in stone or bronze, she is most interested in the more personal moments of our lives. She
is also fascinated by the duality of our nature, especially the idea that two opposing concepts exist in a strange kind of balance. The
tactile quality of sculpture allows her to explore coexisting opposites in an additional way: For example, she likes a soft curve in a
hard material. “I love it when people are drawn to one of my works and reach out to touch it, since touch is the most intimate and
universal sense we have”, says Kelly.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1964 she was raised mostly in Florida before moving to central Texas in 1982. Although she obtained
her degree in English and mathematics, Kelly began her career in photographic industry and moved into image preservation in the
early 1990’s. As her skills progressed, she began to restore images of daguerreotypes that had degraded so much that critical
portions were missing. In 1992 she enrolled in a self-paced art school to create, for instance, a missing hand in a photo.
Learning to draw led to oil painting which led to the desire to “push” clay around. Once Kelly discovered sculpture, she knew she
had found her life’s passion.
Carl Andre (born September 16, 1935) is an American minimalist artist recognized for his ordered linear format and grid format sculptures. His sculptures range from large public artworks (such as Stone Field Sculpture, 1977 in Hartford, CT and Lament for the Children, 1976 in Long Island City, NY) to more intimate tile patterns arranged on the floor of an exhibition space (such as 144 Lead Square, 1969 or Twenty-fifth Steel Cardinal, 1974). In 1988, Andre was tried and acquitted for murdering his wife, artist Ana Mendieta.
Abakan Red (1969).
Magdalena Abakanowicz was born in Poland, near Warsaw, to a family that traced its heritage back to Genghis Khan. Her home life was disturbed by the occupation of Poland by Germany and then Russia. She stayed in Poland through the years of Communist rule and then through the changes under the Solidarity movement and afterwards. Her sculpture often reflects the emotional heritage of her political environment.
Magdalena Abakanowicz studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, 1950-55. Honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Art in London and the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland.
Magdalena Abakanowicz began working as a painter, as a weaver and as a sculptor working in the fiber arts, as a weaver, and moved to other media including clay, wood, and sacking. She is noted for groups of large figures which she has called “Abakans.” Her work is in many major public museums.
Magdalena Abakanowicz taught at the State College of Arts in Poznan, 1979-1990, and she was appointed a professor in 1979. She has been a visiting professor in the US.
In the 1990s Magdalena Abakanowicz designed a model of an ecologically-oriented city. She has also choreographed dance.
François-Auguste-René Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917), known as Auguste Rodin (English pronunciation: /oʊˈɡuːst roʊˈdæn/ oh-goost roh-dan), was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris’s foremost school of art.
Sculpturally, Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface in clay. Many of his most notable sculptures were roundly criticized during his lifetime. They clashed with the predominant figure sculpture tradition, in which works were decorative, formulaic, or highly thematic. Rodin’s most original work departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory, modeled the human body with realism, and celebrated individual character and physicality. Rodin was sensitive of the controversy surrounding his work, but refused to change his style. Successive works brought increasing favor from the government and the artistic community.
From the unexpected realism of his first major figure—inspired by his 1875 trip to Italy—to the unconventional memorials whose commissions he later sought, Rodin’s reputation grew, such that he became the preeminent French sculptor of his time. By 1900, he was a world-renowned artist. Wealthy private clients sought Rodin’s work after his World’s Fair exhibit, and he kept company with a variety of high-profile intellectuals and artists. He married his life-long companion, Rose Beuret, in the last year of both their lives. His sculpture suffered a decline in popularity after his death in 1917, but within a few decades his legacy solidified. Rodin remains one of the few sculptors widely known outside the visual arts community.
The Old Man’s Boat, the Old Man’s Dog, 1982
Eric Fischl is an internationally acclaimed American painter and sculptor. His artwork is represented in many distinguished museums throughout the world and has been featured in over one thousand publications. His extraordinary achievements throughout his career have made him of one of the most influential figurative painters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Fischl was born in 1948 in New York City and grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. He earned his B.F.A. from the California Institute for the Arts in 1972. He then spent some time in Chicago, where he was first exposed to the unconventional art of the Chicago Imagists. Fischl states, “The underbelly, carnie world of Ed Paschke and the hilarious sexual vulgarity of Jim Nutt were revelatory experiences for me.” In 1974, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he taught painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, before relocating to New York City in 1978.
Fischl’s suburban upbringing provided him with a backdrop of alcoholism and a country club culture obsessed with image over content. His early work thus became focused on the rift between what was experienced and what could not be said. Fischl had his first solo show at Edward Thorp Gallery in 1979, during a time when suburbia was not considered a legitimate genre for art. He first received critical attention for depicting the dark, disturbing undercurrents of mainstream American life.
Fischl’s paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints have been the subject of numerous solo and major group exhibitions and his work is represented in many museums, as well as prestigious private and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modem Art in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, St. Louis Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, MusÈe Beaubourg in Paris, The Paine Weber Collection, and many others. Fischl has collaborated with other artists and authors, including E.L. Doctorow, Allen Ginsberg, Jamaica Kincaid, Jerry Saltz and Frederic Tuten.
Eric Fischl is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Science. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife, the painter April Gornik.
Sculptor, born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at the Royal College of Art, London, where he taught sculpture (1924–31), moving to the Chelsea School of Art (1931–9). Recognized as one of the most original and powerful modern sculptors, his style is based on the organic forms and undulations found in landscape and natural rocks, and influenced by primitive African and Mexican art. He achieved the spatial, three-dimensional quality of sculpture by the piercing of his figures. Principal commissions included the ‘Madonna and Child’ in St Matthew’s Church, Northampton (1943–4), the decorative frieze (1952) on the Time Life building, London, and the monumental female reclining figures for the UNESCO building in Paris (1958) and the Lincoln Center in New York City (1965). Major collections can be seen at the Henry Moore Sculpture Center, Toronto, The Tate Gallery, London, and at his former home in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire.
Musée Adzak is an art museum in Paris, France. It is located 3 rue Jonquoy, in the 14th arrondissement.
The museum is in the workshop of Roy Adzak, a photographer and sculptor. It acts as an international meeting place and space for temporary exhibitions of artists.
Janus Fleuri 1968
Louise Bourgeois, the grande dame of contemporary artists best known for her sculpture and disquieting symbolism, died Monday of a heart attack at a hospital in Manhattan. She was 98.
Sculpture became Ms. Bourgeois’ primary medium after 1945 when the Peridot Gallery, a prestigious venue in Manhattan’s then-intimate art world, staged her first solo sculpture show. In 1982, Ms. Bourgeois became the first female artist to be honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Subsequent retrospectives in 1993 and 2007 that visited major institutions in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Madrid, London, Paris and St. Petersburg, Russia, consolidated her position as a world figure in art.
Her work, which is on view at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco through June 12, came to the attention to the Bay Area public in 2007 when the San Francisco Arts Commission installed her giant bronze “Crouching Spider” (2003) at Pier 14 on the Embarcadero. It stayed until early 2009. In 1996, the Berkeley Art Museum presented a career survey of Ms. Bourgeois’ drawings.
Ms. Bourgeois acknowledged that the spider imagery in her art was a Freudian symbol of female sexuality, a private symbol of her mother and a celebration of arachnids’ crucial predator role in keeping the Earth’s insect population in check.
She frequently said her work sprang from conscious and unconscious memories of her childhood, with a caring but invalid mother and an imperious, unfaithful father.
In the mid-’60s, a rising generation of feminist artists and critics rediscovered her art, and although she was never entirely comfortable with that affiliation, it accelerated a career that previously had been in low gear.
Born in Paris on Dec. 25, 1911, Ms. Bourgeois worked early on for her parents, who marketed and restored antique tapestries. Some of her art’s spider imagery also evokes her youthful part in repairing threadbare textiles.
Although Ms. Bourgeois drew frequently to assist in the family business, she studied mathematics when she entered the Sorbonne, in search, she said, of impersonal, unbreakable rules.
She soon digressed into art studies at various schools in Paris and a stint as studio assistant to Fernand Leger (1881-1955), one of France’s most esteemed painters at the time.
In 1938, Ms. Bourgeois married American art historian Robert Goldwater (1907-1973), a specialist in tribal arts who wrote extensively about their influence on European modernism.
Once settled in New York, where she continued her studies at the Art Students League, Ms. Bourgeois entered the widening circle of European artists who sought refuge there from the war, including several Surrealists, whose influence she would later deny, though critics continue to make that connection.
In 1993 Ms. Bourgeois represented the United States at the Venice Biennale and London’s Tate Modern commissioned for its 2000 opening a suite of works from her for its mammoth Turbine Hall.
Ms. Bourgeois received several honorary doctorates, and, in 1997, the National Medal of Arts. France named her an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters and conferred its Grand Prix National de Sculpture in 1991.
She is survived by sons Jean-Louis and Alain, both of New York City, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. A third son, Michel, died a decade ago.
E-mail Kenneth Baker at email@example.com.
This article appeared on page C – 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle