Perhaps the most amazing of the many remarkable aspects of Louise Bourgeois is that if she had died in her middle seventies we would not have known how daring, strange, ambitious, or disturbing an artist she could be. We would not have known how lively a colorist this ninety-six-year-old sculptor is capable of being; and we would have been deprived of the full measure of one of the loveliest aspects of her art, her feeling for a range of weathered, frayed, and matte textures. Bourgeois of course is not especially renowned for the sensuous qualities of her work, let alone qualities connected with the word “lovely.” The artist, who was born in France in 1911 and has lived in New York since 1938 (when she arrived here to be the wife of the American art historian Robert Goldwater, whom she had met in Paris), has long been recognized for her adventurousness with diverse sculptural materials. She is probably best known, though, for the way her pieces, which for most of her career have blended abstract and representational elements, exude a note of something ambiguous and hidden—and frequently sexual and sinister.
more from the NYRB here.