Why does the work of Louise Bourgeois reflect Cancers so well

Every month, our Artstrology section gives you a (new) way to discover works and artists in the light of an astrological sign. This month, it’s the turn of Cancers to come under our magnifying glass.

Water sign

Along with Scorpio and Pisces, Cancer is an instinctive, sensitive, inquisitive water sign, close to its emotions, family and home. Ruled by the Moon, Cancers are associated with expression “I can smell” and are constantly in a state of dreams, melancholy, to the point that they sometimes forget the real world.

With a very rich inner life, the crab does not hesitate to seek refuge in its shell to recharge its batteries, protect itself or avoid conflict. This animal has the peculiarity of moving backwards, and it is in this that Cancer is very turned to the past and very often swims in introspection.

Throughout her work, Louise Bourgeois explored only her family past, using her art through a psychoanalytic, autobiographical, and highly emotional approach. Take, for example, his work cells, installations that are small fenced enclosures where the public is invited.

Once inside, we observe loose objects that symbolize the psychological and biographical landscape of the artist. It is often about fear, pain and his childhood traumas. In one of his own cells, Bourgeois placed a guillotine and a model of his family home. She said about this work: “These are people who are guillotining themselves in their own families.” Good atmosphere.

In the 1950s, a French visual artist created it totems, further emphasizing the importance of family and home in his art, as a homely Cancer. The Totems they are long, thin, smooth wooden figures that depict figures that represent her homesickness when she just moved to New York. He missed his family and loved ones; her sculptures, when she put them together, represented to her the presence and way of expelling her spleen.

Cardinal sign

Along with Aries, Libra and Capricorn, Cancer is one of the cardinal signs, that is, it opens the season. They are the moving signs of the zodiac who instill novelty and creativity and thrive when they achieve it. They are born leaders who think big and show the way.

Louise Bourgeois’ works spanned the 20th century and contributed to the rise of feminism. They paved the way for a generation of artists after them: Bourgeois supported many young artists and participated in militant exhibitions of the Women’s Liberation Movement. His latest work, “Memorial Steilnesset”, pays tribute to persecuted and burned witches. “I’m a woman, I don’t need to be a feminist”she told.

Precisely because his works were committed and avant-garde, we can consider them cardinal. This artist, who was engaged in painting, sculpture, and installation, never stopped in his development, despite the artistic environment in which man dominated. Very early, she dared to talk about sensitive topics, as in her story child abuse appeared in the magazine art forum, in which she talked about the violence of men in her family circle.

The sign is represented by… chest and stomach

Each sign of the Zodiac is characterized by parts of the human anatomy. For Cancer, it is the chest and stomach, which resonate with procreation and femininity. Most of Louise Bourgeois’ work centers around the female figure and her feminist commitments.

So much so that she called her penis a sculpture little girl : he told himself that we can also see a bust of a little girl there, but we don’t see too much… little girl expresses as creative, sexual power, but also the fragility characteristic of male sexual attributes, which the sculptor considers “very delicate”“, explains the magazine Fine arts.

Him Women’s Houses are also very characteristic of this astrological sign, as they represent naked women with heads and bodies in the shape of houses. This series of paintings and sculptures allows her to explore the theme of female identity and the relationship to family life. Here, houses isolate women from society, lock them in, and erase their identity because their faces are hidden.

Three other works represent very well the anatomical parts associated with Cancer: his small dolls of pregnant women with round bellies and well-defined breasts, his udder, as well as his eyes, two large marble sculptures of eyes resembling female breasts.

Maternal and protective sign

Cancer is very maternal and protective. This sign likes to nurture and protect its loved ones. It is often said that Cancer will represent the mother of the Zodiac, and its polar opposite, Capricorn, will be its father. The works of Louise Bourgeois pursue themes related to motherhood, birth and procreation.

His emblematic work mum is a giant bronze spider that nurtures and protects the 26 heavy marble eggs that it incubates in its abdomen. Its gigantic and menacing appearance, as well as its long, scary legs, exist only to repel the enemy and better protect its children. Here, the naturalized American artist explores the power of motherhood as she honors the mother she loved so much and lost at the age of 21.

To protect itself, the spider carefully weaves its web. Louise Bourgeois’s mother, Josephine, was also a weaver: she restored old tapestries. The spider is an ode to mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was engaged in the restoration of tapestries, and my mother ran a workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very smart. Spiders are friendly creatures that devour mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread disease and are therefore undesirable. Therefore, spiders are useful and protective, like my mother.” once voiced the artist.

Thanks to her mother, Louise Bourgeois learned weaving, an art she used as a medium to create textiles. In his mind, weaving and sewing were associated with the concept of “repair”. Figuratively, this mastery is about the bonds that are made and broken, that are restored and that are broken, within the family.

Three more works by Louise Bourgeois perfectly crystallize motherhood. Firstly, Total I, the egg-shaped sculpture was meant to represent cumulus clouds, but strangely looks more like a nest of eggs. Then his blood-red watercolors of pregnant women.

Finally, a grand installation Destruction of the father which reveals a womb in which a gruesome scene is played out: a father killed and eaten by his own children during a feast disgusting with animal carcasses. In this dark and complex work, the artist addressed the humiliation her father subjected her to. The womb here offers rebirth and protection to children freed from dominion pater.

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