The image that best represent Louise Bourgeois’ spunk and sense of humor is this one, taken by Robert Maplethorpe in 1982 when she was 71 years old. She was born in Paris in 1911 and was 98 when she died in New York City in 2010.
Her huge spider sculptures which appeared outside numerous museums around the world, rank among the the most highly priced works by a woman artist to date, $10.7 million USD.
She is also known for her work made from collecting objects, and for soft sculptures and totemic forms. She was a pioneer for women, and encouraged young artists to her home in Chelsea for art talks. Also one of the first artists to use interior spaces she called “Cells”. Her work is emotionally charged and provocative.
Congratulations to the organizers and participants of the 9th Shanghai Biennale! It was a tremendous effort lead by the great talent Qiu Zhijie. It was such a pleasure to be a part of the amazing team that coordinated the Biennial. I certainly learned a lot about what it takes to put together this kind of show.
For the Curators a massive amount of research to find artists and funding. They must also coordinate with the museum and the artist. Dealing with all the politics on a personal level one moment and an international level the next. Then, they must carefully consider the very physical logistics of the space and installation of the work at a moment “art” can literally include anything. Not an easy task, but what could be more exciting?!!!
The Artistshave to deal with being in a foreign place with tremendous restrictions on their time and often their resources. I am sure the shift of place affects their psyche, but they should at the same time produce their work, re-created their idea in a clear defined way.
The Audience has the easiest, but possibly most important role. assimilating the work. I went to Shanghai on three occasions, and on each trip I identified with each separate role. Each role has it’s own set of challenges. I was neither a curator or an artist, and on my final trip I was there with my family. I therefore identify most with the audience role. The experience of the audience is so crucial. I really wish I had been able to see more of the show, but my 3 day trip was simply not enough time to visit the huge set of exhibits. Art takes time to be absorbed.
Considering the challenges and the vast scale of the project, I have more respect than ever for the efforts of Qiu Zhijie and his team.