Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate Gallery, said the works would be commissioned in a pounds 1.25m sponsorship deal with Unilever. One piece will be commissioned every year and will be on display for six months at a time.
The Tate Gallery of Modern Art is due to open next May in a converted power station on the south bank of the Thames at Southwark.
Ms Bourgeois's work, which will consist of three 40ft-high steel sculptures, will be the first thing visitors will see. She is frail and it is not certain that she will make the journey from her home in New York to install the piece, the details of which are a closely guarded secret.