Louise Bourgeois: Destruction of the Father/Reconstruction of the Father: Writings and Interviews 1923-1997

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9781900828079: Louise Bourgeois: Destruction of the Father/Reconstruction of the Father: Writings and Interviews 1923-1997
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One of the century's most distinguished artists, Louise Bourgeois is an utterly unique figure. Born in Paris in 1911, Bourgeois spent most of her career receiving little recognition from the art community. She has worked closely to many of the century's key artistic moments, from Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism to feminist art, and yet she remains distinct from all of them. An extraordinarily influential sculptor, she has worked, often experimentally, with materials varying from alabaster, plaster, latex, bronze and marble. Bourgeois is equally admired for her intimate drawings, often combining fragments of text, and her highly personal writings, which often address her long and complex life story. With the backdrop of a conflicted and sexually complicated family upbringing, her struggles as an artist in a world reserved for men, as well as her experiences as a mother, the subject of her work is as broad as the materials in which she expresses them. As a figure of outstanding significance in contemporary art, her stature has been recognized by such awards as the American National Medal of the Arts (1991), the French Grand Prix National de Sculpture (1991) and the Venice Biennale's Golden Lion Prize (1999), among others.

Critic Paulo Herkenhoff (with Thyra Goodeve) has been in discussion with Bourgeois for many years. Topics in their Interview range from her troubled relationship with her father, to men's fashions, to her recollections of Marcel Duchamp, whom she knew personally. Critic and curator Robert Storr's Survey chronicles the unique trajectory of Bourgeois' work and life from a highly personal point of view. In his Focus, critic Allan Schwartzman concentrates on Cell (You Better Grow Up) (1993), an intense cage-like space. For her Artist's Choice Bourgeois has selected extracts from the novel Bonjour Tristesse (1954) by Francoise Sagan, whose story about a young girl's response to her father's amorous relationships parallels to some degree the artist's own childhood experiences. The Artist's Writings include an early text, 'The Puritan', from 1947, alongside discussions of her own work, autobiographical writings and artist's projects.

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Review:

"Beautiful."―i-D

On the Contemporary Artists Series

"The boldest, best executed, and most far-reaching publishing project devoted to contemporary art. These books will revolutionize the way contemporary art is presented and written about."―Artforum

"The combination of intelligent analysis, personal insight, useful facts and plentiful pictures is a superb format invaluable for specialists but also interesting for casual readers, it makes these books a must for the library of anyone who cares about contemporary art."―Time Out

"A unique series of informative monographs on individual artists."―The Sunday Times

"Gives the reader the impression of a personal encounter with the artists. Apart from the writing which is lucid and illuminating, it is undoubtedly the wealth of lavish illustrations which makes looking at these books a satisfying entertainment."―The Art Book

From the Publisher:

successfully combines biography with criticism
"Bernadac, former curator of the Musee Picasso, offers convincing explanations for both the art world's blindness to Bourgeois' startlingly original, sensual, and challenging sculpture and for the sudden recognition of its power, intergrity, and corageous beauty. Bernadac successfully combines biography with criticism throughout this chronological overview, enriching the experience of viewing Bourgeois' art, from her highly symbolic works on paper to her newest work, the "cells," mysterious and dramatic large-scale installations. These daring works have occupied the indefatigable Bourgeois since she entered her eighties five years ago. Fiercely indepedent, adept at creating provocative abstractions out of a myriad of materials, Bourgeois is "unclassifiable" and profoundly compelling, qualities attributable, Bernadac believes, to Bourgeois' perception of art as fetishistic. For Bourgeois, the making of art is a magical and curative act, deeply emotional and erotic, thus resoundinghly universal."---Donna Seaman, Booklist Magazine

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Bourgeois, Louise
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