What’s Cooking: 2020-May-23

What’s Cooking: Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was a French-American artist best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art. Her work explored a variety of themes including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the unconscious.

Bourgeois’ approach to cooking was as personal as her art. “I was told as a child in France that cooking is the way to a man’s heart,” she recalled in The Museum of Modern Art Artists’ Cookbook. “Today I know that the notion is absurd.”

Immersed in the New York avant garde art world of the 1960’2 and 70’s, Bourgeois was fond of entertaining her artist friends: “When the galleries close, we all troop over to my house. I have to be prepared to feed as many as fifteen people at a moment’s notice. It is easy for me because of my pressure cookers and my freezer,” she said at the time.

Bourgeois’s contributed to New York City’s Museum of Modern Art cookbook, which featured fellow artists Willem and Elaine de Kooning and Andy Warhol. She favored simple, economical dishes that honored her French heritage. Try this refreshing cucumber salad this summer! From Artsy.net

Louise Bourgeois’s French Cucumber Salad

  • 6 cucumbers, peeled
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 ½ tbsp. tarragon vinegar
  • ½ tsp. tarragon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chopped chives or green scallions

Layer slivers of cucumber in a small bowl, sprinkling with salt between each layer. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours. Remove the cucumbers and wash under cold running water, then dry on towels. To make the dressing, combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk. Drizzle the mixture over the cucumber slivers and toss. Add chives or scallions, then serve with hot French bread.

Adapted from: The Museum of Modern Art Artists’ Cookbook (MoMA, 1978)

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010)