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Louise Monument: Portrait of Louise Bourgeois

In Louise Monument, Judith Shea translates her personal impressions of the great twentieth-century artist Louise Bourgeois into sculpture. Shea drapes the sculpted figure in huge swaths of fabric, recalling Bourgeois’s use of textiles and feminine imagery. She also emphasizes Bourgeois’s steely determination and grandeur, unexpected by some due to the eminent artist’s petite stature.

Made as part of an exhibition at the National Academy in New York, Shea’s sculpture calls attention to the often-neglected role women played in the development of both portraiture and conceptual art in the United States.

Louise Bourgeois created a series of life-size sculptures called Personages between 1945 and 1955. Observer, a work from the series, was acquired by Sheldon in 1988. To learn more about Observer, visit

Judith Shea
born Philadelphia, PA 1948
Louise Monument: Portrait of Louise Bourgeois
Carved polystyrene foam, carved balsa wood, felt, paper, clay, paint, cotton, and horsehair, 2011–2012
74 3/4 × 18 1/4 × 18 1/4 inches
On loan from Karen and Robert Duncan

The exhibition Person of Interest features works by Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marisol, and Judith Shea.