Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. She studied art at the Ecole du Louvre, Acadamie des Beaux-Arts, Acadamie Julian, and Atelier Fernand Leger.
In 1938, she moved 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. Greatly influenced by the influx of European surrealist artists who emmigrated to the United States after World War II, 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, more referential to what has become the dominant theme of her work, her childhood. Deeply symbolic, her work uses her relationship with her parents and the role sexuality played in her early family life as a vocabulary in which to understand and remake that history.
Bourgeois's work is in the collections of most major museums around the world. She lives in New York.