The Art and Life of Louise Bourgeois by Robert Storr

Article00A roundtable discussion at Bookforum:

Christopher Lyon: First I'd like to say something about the book we're here to discuss. This 828-page tome on the art and life of Louise Bourgeois, who was born in 1911 and died in 2010, is the product of some thirty years of work on Robert Storr's part. It comprehensively surveys Bourgeois's career as an artist, which spanned nearly seventy-five years, with more than nine hundred illustrations. Chapters relating Bourgeois's life and analyzing her creative achievement alternate with portfolios, in chronological sequence, that show the unfolding of her oeuvre. The final chapter is a coda that details Rob's close and complicated relationship with his subject, beginning in the early 1980s. It is, and probably will remain, the definitive monograph on Louise.

Robert Storr: I don't think there's such a thing as a definitive book, that's part of my point. It will be the first essai at making a comprehensive book. I should just say in parentheses that the fact it exists at all is very much to the credit of Chris, who has stayed with this project long past the patience of most mere mortals. In terms of design, production, the whole thing.

CL: Thank you for saying that. I thought it would be good if we could pull everybody into the conversation at the beginning. You're all familiar with Louise's work and I wondered to what extent this book confirmed, challenged, or surprised you.

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