Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was a world-renowned modern artist noted for her sculptures made of wood, steel, stone, and cast rubber. Her most famous spider sculpture, Maman, stands more than 30 feet high. Just as spiders spin and repair their webs, Louise’s own mother was a weaver of tapestries. Louise spent her childhood in France as an apprentice to her mother before she became a tapestry artist herself. She worked with fabric throughout her career, and this biographical picture book shows how Bourgeois’s childhood experiences weaving with her loving, nurturing mother provided the inspiration for her most famous works. With a beautifully nuanced and poetic story, this book stunningly captures the relationship between mother and daughter and illuminates how memories are woven into us all.
Novesky (Me, Friday) details the creative and passionate life of artist Louise Bourgeois. Arsenault's mixed-media collages feature textile patterns and spider-web designs, evoking the influence of her family's work restoring tapestries. The reds and blues common to the artist's paintings and drawings dominate, accenting moments of melancholy and drama, as when a young Bourgeois threw herself into a river, angry about her father's frequent absences. When her mother died, Bourgeois turned to making art: "She drew, she painted, she wove. She missed her mother so much, she sculpted giant spiders made of bronze, steel, and marble she named maman." Poetic and experimental, the text and art capture the delicate, powerful quality of Bourgeois's work across multiple media, as well as her ideas about order, symmetry, memory, and reparation. Ages 5 7. Author's agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions.