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Louise Bourgeois (French, 1911-2010)

Birth Place: Paris (Ville de Paris department, île-de-France, France)

Biography:

Who was sculptor Louise Bourgeois?

Louise Bourgeois was a French sculptor best known for her giant modernist sculptures and installation art pieces. Bourgeois also produced a large amount of paintings and prints during her career as an artist. Bourgeois was known for advancing feminist thought in art. Much of her pieces had to do with social ideals about domesticity, sexuality, and the female body. Bourgeois was very open about these subjects, even going so far as to compare them to therapy.

Bourgeois was an iconoclast and individual thinker whose work is as original as the artist. She was recognized for her talents during her lifetime. She received an honorary doctorate from Yale, was a Fellow for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and won a Macdowell Medal. She was a member of many organizations including the National Order of the Legion of Honour, the Praemium Imperiale, and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art. Her pieces are held in prestigious museums and galleries around the world, including the MoMA, the National Gallery of Art in DC, the Tate in London, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

What kind of art did Louise Bourgeois make?

Louise Bourgeois was a multidisciplinary artist who made large scale sculptures, installation pieces, paintings, and prints. While her work is often favorably compared to Modernism, Surrealism, and the Feminist art movements, it’s important to note that Bourgeois didn’t fully embrace any modern movement. Her pieces are strange and intensely personal, born from a dark place deep inside the artist. Thematically, they are often tied to Bourgeois experiences as a woman. She experimented with ideas about sexuality, the female body, and popular notions about domestic life. She was a school of many artistic movements and used that knowledge to spend much of her later life teaching at prestigious schools including the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College, and the New York Studio School of Drawing.

How did sculptor Louise Bourgeois get started?

Louise Bourgeois was born on Christmas, 1911 in Paris, France. Her parents owned an antique tapestry gallery and restoration business. Bourgeois learned intently from her family, showing talent at an early age. In 1930 Bourgeois began studying at the Sorbonne as a mathematics major. These principals would inform her later work. After her mother’s death in 1932, Louise shifted to art. She got a job as a docent at the Musee de Louvre and graduated with a degree in art from the Sorbonne in 1935. She continued her studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Ecole du Louvre. She began a print making business sometime in the late 1930s, opening up shop next to her father. As World War II began to break out, Bourgeois moved to New York and took classes at the Art Students League of New York. It was there that she fell in love with sculpting. The rest is history.

How much are Louise Bourgeois sculptures worth?

Louise Bourgeois prints and sculptures have a wide range of worth. While a minor print can be had for as little as $1,000, a major sculpture can sell for more than $20,000,000 when it comes up at auction. The most ever paid for a Louise Bourgeois sculpture at auction is $32,055,000 for the piece Spider (1996) on May 15th, 2019. It is one of a series of six, and all have sold for well over $10,000,000 -- making them Bourgeois most valuable series to date.

Where to buy Louise Bourgeois art for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Louise Bourgeois sculptures?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.


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Louise Bourgeois Original Art values sold at auction

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