maandag, september 10, 2018

Louise Bourgeois #5

Louise Bourgeois in her home studio in 1974.

After her husband’s death in 1973, she turned the whole building into an art studio.

A view of the first floor of Bourgeois’s home.

The second floor, with a painting by Bourgeois, “Untitled, 1977” (detail).

A wildly original artist, Bourgeois lived for almost half a century at 347 West 20th Street, a narrow, 19th-century brick rowhouse. A nonprofit organization, the Easton Foundation, which she set up in the 1980s, has opened the house to small arts-related groups. And this summer, the house will be accessible to the public, through tours arranged on the foundation’s website, Shortly before she died in 2010 at 98, Bourgeois purchased the adjacent house from her neighbor, the costume designer William Ivey Long. It now functions as a small exhibition gallery of her work, temporary quarters for visiting scholars, and the site of a library and archive.
Bourgeois purchased the townhouse in 1962 for less than $30,000 with her husband, the art historian Robert Goldwater, whom she met in her native Paris in August 1938, and married a month later. She moved with him to New York, where they raised three sons. Upon Goldwater’s death in 1973, Bourgeois drastically reconfigured the house. She moved out of their rear second-floor bedroom, leaving it and Goldwater’s third-floor library mostly untouched as a kind of memorial. She installed a single bed in the front room of the second floor. (Many years later, after arthritis had made climbing the staircase difficult, she relocated her bedroom to the front parlor on the first floor.) In her years as a wife and mother, Bourgeois had used the basement for her work. Now, she turned the whole building into an art studio.
In 1980, she obtained a large studio space, a former bluejeans factory in Brooklyn. There she began working on large installations that led to a series she called “Cells,” which she started in 1991 and continued for much of her remaining productive life. Many of the “Cells” are scaled to the size of the rooms in the Chelsea house, and they contain staircases, doors and closets, as well as some of her possessions, including articles of clothing and empty bottles of Shalimar perfume. Bourgeois had to clear out of the Brooklyn studio at the end of 2005 to make way for the Barclays Center. In her home, however, she could continue to accumulate and rearrange objects that resonated with her emotionally.
(bron: The New York Times)

> The Easton Foundation

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