(b Paris, Dec 25, 1911; d New York, NY, May 31, 2010).
American sculptor, painter, and printmaker of French birth. Her parents ran a workshop in Paris restoring tapestries, for which Bourgeois filled in the designs where they had become worn. She studied mathematics at the Sorbonne before turning to studio arts. In 1938, after marrying Robert Goldwater, an American art historian, critic, and curator, she went to New York, where she enrolled in the Art Students League and studied painting for two years with Václav Vytlačil (1892–1984). Bourgeois’s work was shown at the Brooklyn Museum Print Exhibition in 1939. During World War II she worked with Joan Miró, André Masson, and other European expatriates.
Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists—and, like them, drew from the unconscious—she never became an abstract artist. Instead, she created symbolic objects and drawings expressing themes of loneliness and conflict, frustration and vulnerability, as reflected in her suite of engravings and parables, He Disappeared into Complete Silence...