Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Encounters with Greatness - Louise Bourgeois

I just learned that famed sculptor, Louise Bourgeois, passed away yesterday at the age of 98. I can recall a visit with her a few years ago. Louise held informal open house sessions called "salons" regularly on Sundays at her home in Chelsea. Oddly enough, she was listed in the phone book, and if you wanted to attend a Sunday Salon with Louise, all you had to do was make the call and say that you would be showing up. I went on Halloween, 2004; a seemingly perfect fit for such a dark woman.
The session was like being in art school all over again. We talked about our work in a room full of other artistic hopefuls and in front of Miss Louise who would make the final judgement as if we were standing in front of the proverbial Pearly Gates. There was also a team of filmmakers ever-present and recording every moment for a future documentary. No one else was allowed to photograph or videotape any portion of that session.

For some artists in the room, she would ask tough questions and cast aspersions on their creations. I was one of the last people to present and was quite nervous. Miraculously, she showed me some mercy, and actually liked my work. We had a big discussion that I can no longer recollect, but I sailed on the knowledge of that moment as inspiration for my next few paintings. At the end of our time with her, she permitted me to photograph her just before I left her building. I knew one day that I'd be happy that I captured this moment in time. Rest in peace.


  1. To have a memory like that is wonderful... Its sad that such a talent is gone.

  2. It truly was a special moment in time. Funny, I was just thinking this past week that it's been a few years since I went, and was wondering if she still had people coming over.

  3. What an incredible opportunity Kim and such a special memory! Thanks for sharing this picture. Louise Bourgeois' work and writing has always been such an inspiration to me and I was so saddened to hear the news last week.

  4. Awwww... I'm glad she lived the life she wanted


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