The French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois, a prominent and influential figure in the American and European art worlds, died in Manhattan on Monday, May 31st, at the age of 98. Her death was first announced by the Emilio and Annabianca Vedova Foundation, which is preparing a Bourgeois retrospective in Venice. “It was with great sadness that the Emilio and Annabianca Vedova Foundation learned of the passing of Louise Bourgeois, one of the best and most significant artistic figures of our era,” the foundation announced in a press release on Monday. The manager of the Louise Bourgeois studio in Brooklyn said the cause of death was a heart attack.
Born on Christmas Day of 1911, Louise Bourgeois was raised in Paris, studied mathematics at the Sorbonne, moved to the US and became an American citizen in 1951. A working artist her whole adult life, fame came late to her, with her first retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1982. She spent the last three decades of her life working constantly, and her larger-than-life, psychologically charged sculptures of spiders, abstractions and the human body were celebrated continually by the modern art world. Her last major retrospective was organized in 2008, and presented in both New York and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, where her work is on display in permanent collections.
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