Poet and curator Frémon gives voice to one of the outstanding artists of the 20th century, Louise Bourgeois, in a written portrait that is as tender as it is catty and cantankerous. Strands of memory unfurl—from Bourgeois’ childhood in France to her self-imposed exile in the US—alongside her thoughts on beauty and the purpose of art. 

Financial Times

Financial Times Book of the Year

Now, Now, Louison

Fiction by Jean Frémon

Translated by Cole Swensen

The extraordinary artist, the spider woman, the intellectual, the rebel, the sly enchantress, and the “good girl” sing together in this exuberant, lithe text beautifully translated by Cole Swensen.

This brilliant portrait of the renowned artist Louise Bourgeois (1911– 2010) shows a woman who was devoted to her art and whose life was also that of her century. The art world’s grande dame and its shameless old lady, spinning personal history into works of profound strangeness, speaks with her characteristic insolence and wit, through a most discreet, masterful writer. From her childhood in France to her exile and adult life in America, to her death, this phosphorescent novella describes Bourgeois’s inner life as only one artist regarding another can.

Included as an afterword is Frémon’s essay about his own “portrait writing” and how he came to know and work with Louise Bourgeois.

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published March 26, 2019)

ISBN
9780811228527
Price US
13.95
Trim Size
4.5x7.25
Page Count
112

Ebook

ISBN
9780811228534

Jean Frémon

French gallerist and writer

Poet and curator Frémon gives voice to one of the outstanding artists of the 20th century, Louise Bourgeois, in a written portrait that is as tender as it is catty and cantankerous. Strands of memory unfurl—from Bourgeois’ childhood in France to her self-imposed exile in the US—alongside her thoughts on beauty and the purpose of art. 

Financial Times

The first to commission Bourgeois’ work, for a European exhibition in 1985, writer and gallerist Jean Frémon meditates on the spirit of the iconoclastic artist, best known for her oversized sculptures of spiders, rather than presenting a straight biography.

The A.V. Club

There is something uncanny at play in this small book, something I don’t fully grasp, but I suspect that elusive, haunted excess may be exactly why I love it.

—Siri Hustvedt

Taking as its lead both Bourgeois’s voice and creative practice, this is a book that eschews excessive biographical detail to convey something closer to life, “a kind of portrait” captured through the combined artistry of writer and translator.

—Asymptote

A cat’s cradle woven from shreds of [Louise Bourgeois’s] biography, it nonetheless can snare the heart.

The Washington Post

With Now, Now, Louison, Jean Frémon delivers a special pleasure — he invites us into Louise Bourgeois’ head as she creates. In so doing, Frémon opens up our understanding of both the artist and her art.

NPR