Louise Bourgeois was a sculptor who created sexually-charged, sometimes sexually aggressive, works of art effective in shaking the public out of their preconceived notions about sex, the body, femininity and motherhood. One of her most noticeable sculptures, a series of spiders displayed at Rockefeller Center in 2001, featured one 30-foot spider called “Maman” that protected a basket of eggs.
Bourgeois came to New York in 1938 with her husband, art historian Robert Goldwater. She was long involved in the feminist movement and taught at Columbia University, Cooper Union, New York Studio School and Yale University. After a long and illustrious career, her works finally gained attention outside the art world in 1982, when she was 70.
She said in an interview with The Washington Post in 1984, "I really want to worry people, to bother people. They say they are bothered by the double genitalia in my new work. Well, I have been bothered by it my whole life. I once said to my children, 'It's only physiological, you know, the sex drive.' That was a lie. It's much more than that."
Bourgeois passed away Monday at the age of 98 in New York.