Taking as its lead both Bourgeois’s voice and creative practice, this is a book that eschews excessive biographical detail to convey something closer to life, 'a kind of portrait' captured through the combined artistry of writer and translator.
Poet and curator FrÃ©mon gives voice to one of the outstanding artists of the 20th century, Louise Bourgeois, in a written portrait that is as tender as it is catty and cantankerous. Strands of memory unfurl—from Bourgeois’ childhood in France to her self-imposed exile in the US—alongside her thoughts on beauty and the purpose of art.
WithÂ Now, Now, Louison, Jean FrÃ©mon delivers a special pleasure — he invites us into Louise Bourgeois' head as she creates. In so doing, FrÃ©mon opens up our understanding of both the artist and her art.
The first to commission Bourgeois’ work, for a European exhibition in 1985, writer and gallerist Jean FrÃ©mon meditates on the spirit of the iconoclastic artist, best known for her oversized sculptures of spiders, rather than presenting a straight biography.
FrÃ©mon’s style is poetic and often poignant. There’s a rhythm and internal logic to the flow of the book that’s all the more impressive because of its purposeful fragmentation. The text loops back on certain subjects and motifs, the way humans do in their minds. The most important of these, unsurprisingly, is art. FrÃ©mon clearly understands how much creating art informed Bourgeois’s life, and his writing about her work is often his most insightful.Â
A cat’s cradle woven from shreds of [Louise Bourgeois's]Â biography, it nonetheless can snare the heart.
Jean FrÃ©mon is a wholly singular artist, a writer who lives in the radiant zone where poetry, philosophy, and storytelling meet.
The life of Louise Bourgeois is rendered in ellipses, quick brush strokes, and a mix of associations of ideas and of sensations waltzing with chronology. A highly original, sensitive text.
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