Louise Bourgeois- Sanctum on 20th Street
I used to walk past the late, great Louise Bourgeois’ legendary brownstone home and studio on 20th Street every day on my way to work. The Abstract Expressionist sculptor was not only creating important works at her studio until her death in 2010 (at age 98!) but also used her house as a sort of open door salon for established and young artists. Each Sunday, Bourgeois would host Sunday salons, inviting artists of all ages and genres, writers and other creative types to mix and mingle in her historic home, which was built in the 1850s. On off days, she’d also open her door for portfolio reviews to young artists, who could be seen lining up waiting for her sometimes harsh crits of their latest work.
Bourgeois was a New York staple not long after she moved to the city with her husband in the 1940s, and began creating her signature “feminine” sculptures that evoked tragic themes of betrayal, anxiety, and loneliness (which are said to stem from her father’s affair with her governess).
Next time you walk down the idyllic block of 20th Street as you walk toward the gallery district, pay a little homage to Louise- she did so much for the art world out of the goodness of her heart.
Who: Louise Bourgeois
What: Residence and studio
Where: 347 West 20th Street
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