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Louise Bourgeois at her Sunday Salon

December 23, 2008

Layout 1A few minutes before 3:30, Jerry Gorovoy lets them in. Those who showed up early had been asked to wait outside. It is a mild, bright afternoon. Children are skateboarding on the sidewalk halfway down the block from the four-story brownstone in Chelsea where Louise Bourgeois lives, works, and has hosted a salon every Sunday for more than 30 years. 

The artists file in, carrying notebooks, bags, and cardboard boxes, through the dark hallway and past a wooden staircase to a room at the back of the house where a blue couch, metal stools, and old wood school chairs are assembled in a circle. Pouran Esrafily, who attended her first salon in 1994 and is making a documentary film about the sessions, is busy depositing plastic cups and bottles of liquor and soft drinks on a small table in the center of the room. 

The wooden floors creak. Stuff is everywhere. Crammed on a table in the corner are a large bottle of aspirin, a shiny red heart, a can of Lysol, two lamps, rubbing alcohol, paper towels, and a bulky calculator. Filing cabinets and bookshelves line the room. A bulletin board that runs the length of one wall is layered with old museum and gallery posters, articles, and a bumper sticker that reads “Honk If You Hate Fission.”  Continue reading . . .

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