Page 314. " I saw your piece on Louise Bourgeois "

Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist, and she lived from 1911 to 2010. She contributed to modern and contemporary art, and due to the autobiographical basis for most of her work, has been seen to be a founder of confessional art.

In the 1972, which is around the time when Lexie writes a piece on her in the novel, there had been an exhibition of her work at Number Seventy-Two at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, which is an area of the town called Cornwall, in Orange County, New York. Maybe this is the exhibition that Lexie would have been writing about?

More recently in 2003, her work was exhibited in Ireland, and reviewed by the on-line Circa arts magazine, which might be the modern-day equivalent of Lexie's piece. There are several photographs of her work in the article if you care to follow the link.

The most famous of her works was her giant spider sculptures, titled Maman. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, she explains 'The spiders were an ode to my mother. She was a tapestry woman, and like a spider, was a weaver. She protected me and was my best friend.'

Maman by Bourgeois outside the National Museum of Canada
Public DomainMaman by Bourgeois outside the National Museum of Canada - Credit: Radagast, Wikimedia Commons

She also talked about the 50s and 60s art scene in this interview, saying 'The Fifties were definitely macho and the Sixties less so. The fact that the market was not interested in my work because I was a woman was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to work totally undisturbed. Don't forget that there were plenty of women in a position of power in the art world: women were trustees of museums, the owners of galleries, and many were critics'. The importance of Lexie's position in the art world of the time becomes clear from this.

She was friends with Jackson Pollock, whose work is also referred to in the novel.

An obituary article was published by the Guardian in 2010, and there is a wonderful photograph of the artist included there.