Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. She studied art at various schools there, including the Ecole du Louvre, Académie des Beaux-Arts, Académie Julian, and Atelier Fernand Léger. In 1938, she immigrated to the United States and continued her studies at the Art Students League in New York. Though her beginnings were as an engraver and painter, by the 1940s she had turned her attention to sculptural work, for which she is now recognized as a twentieth-century leader.
Bourgeois’s early sculpture was composed of groupings of abstract and organic shapes, often carved from wood. By the 1960s, she began to execute her work in rubber, bronze, and stone, and the pieces themselves became larger and more referential to what has become the dominant theme of her work: her childhood. Bourgeois’s work is in the collections of most major museums around the world. She lived in New York, where she passed away in May 2010.