This book documents a unique collaboration between the artist Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) and the architect Peter Zumthor (born 1943). The Steilneset Memorial, opened in 2011, is a monument in Vardø, Norway, commemorating the 17th-century trial and execution of 91 women for witchcraft.
The brainchild of the National Tourist Routes project in Norway (a government-sponsored initiative which aims to attract visitors to remote but exceptionally beautiful locations), the Steilneset Memorial started out as a modest monument to honor the victims of the witchcraft trials, to be built on the site where the burnings originally took place. But the project, which would be Bourgeois’ last major work, grew in the hands of Zumthor and Bourgeois into two distinct, haunting structures.
About the Author:
Born in 1911 in Paris, Louise Bourgeois was raised in a household that famously included her father’s mistress, who was also Louise’s nanny. She studied philosophy and mathematics before turning to art in 1934, and over the next few years studied at various art academies and in the atelier of Fernand Leger, among others. She moved to New York in 1938 with her new husband, American art historian Robert Goldwater. Her first U.S. showing was in a print exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, and over the next 50 years, she exhibited consistently in solo and group shows. In 1982, Bourgeois was the subject of the first retrospective ever given to a woman artist at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and her work has remained in the spotlight ever since.