Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Visions & Dreamscapes

 One of Louise Bourgeois' Maman series sculptures (bronze and marble), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Louise Bourgeois, artist and sculptress died, aged 98 on the 31st of May. Creator of strange and abstract visions she may have been, but her work reflected her essence; her fascination with female strength, maternal instinct, nuture and reproduction. Of her original steel and marble Maman spider-sculpture, she said,

"The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever...spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother."

In her final years, finding that her body was failing her, but her imagination as razor sharp as ever, Bourgeois filled sketchbook after sketchbook with bizarre drawings. She called them her dreamscapes, and drew them in a kind of halfway state between sleep and awake, in a place where she could recall her fantastical dreams and sketch swirling, alien landscapes onto her paper. Memories were important to her; their collection and catergorisation. Whatever category you choose to place Bourgeois' art into, her visions, both startling and wonderful, will never be forgotten.

"I need my memories; they are my documents."

Louise Bourgeois

Maman image courtesy of André

Louise Bourgeois portrait courtesy of Centre Pompidou


  1. I had no idea she died. It's so sad. She was one of those unusual and strong women that became icons during their lives. And now she's a legend!

    Great post.

  2. I agree: a very unusual lady with a will of iron and such an imagination.

    Hope you're enjoying your holiday, Polly! :)

  3. She was such an intriguing of my favorites.


  4. Mine too; such a wonderful lady.