Louise Bourgeois: The Secret of the Cells

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9783791345628: Louise Bourgeois: The Secret of the Cells

Now available in an updated and expanded edition, this survey of an essential series in the art of Louise Bourgeois serves as an introduction to her influential work. In her work, Bourgeois used materials ranging from rubber, wood, fabric, and metal to glass, paper, cement, and marble, through which the stories of her own life resonated with the lives of others. This generously illustrated book presents the complete cycle of “Cell” installations from the 1990s until a short time before Bourgeois’s death in 2010. In these contained environments Bourgeois reflected on the human tendency toward isolation and her own memories. The book also places this work in the context of Bourgeois’s life as an artist, including her youth as the daughter of Parisian textile workers, her studies with Fernand Léger, and her experiences with the leading artists of the New York School in the 40s and 50s.

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Review:

Louise Bourgeois: The Secret of the Cells is both a catalog of works by and a biography of the famous Parisian artist. Born in 1911, the now-octogenarian Bourgeois has shown widely throughout the world and to great critical acclaim, especially within the last decade. Bourgeois's personal history is vastly important in the content of her work, and this book takes readers on a journey from her affluent childhood in France, including family photographs, to her schooling under painter Fernand Léger to her eventual marriage and move to the United States, where she continued her long and varied career working primarily as a sculptor and installation artist.

Bourgeois's abstract figurative sculptures range in materials from plaster, marble, and bronze to the more nontraditional latex, glass, thread, etc. Regardless of the medium, the work is imbued with a strong physicality that echoes the forms of the human body. Included in the book are discussions of Bourgeois's work in relation to other artists and movements such as Rodin, Brancusi, and primitivism. Bourgeois has been an inspiration to an entire generation of artists, not just because of her long and illustrious career but because her work has pushed so many boundaries. Louise Bourgeois: The Secret of the Cells is an informative and beautiful book with 77 color and 176 black-and-white images. --Jennifer Cohen

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Now available in an updated and expanded edition, this survey of an essential series in the art of Louise Bourgeois serves as an introduction to her influential work.

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