American-French sculptor Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) is considered one of the most successful artists of her time. She was born in Paris, studied mathematics at the Sorbonne, and then moved to the École du Louvre and the École des Beaux-Art, where she studied art. In 1938, after marrying American art historian Robert Goldwater, she moved to New York City to study painting at the Art Students League. Although she was influenced by European abstract expressionism, Bourgeois did not create abstract art. Instead, she used symbolic objects to explore psychological themes.
In the late 1940s, Bourgeois created wooden sculptures and began making works with non-traditional materials, such as latex and plaster, in the 1950s. Her works took on an increasingly sexual connotation in the 1960s and 1970s; she attracted considerable attention through postmodernism and feminism. She became internationally known through her participation in documenta 9 in Kassel in 1992 and at the Venice Biennale a year later. On her 95th birthday, she received a major retrospective at the Tate Modern in London. Her work has also been exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In 1999, she was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for lifetime achievement by the Japanese Art Association. Louise Bourgeois died on 31 May 2010, at the age of 98.