THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON



Louise Bourgeois

1911–2010 | FRENCH/AMERICAN

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently, this work is not on view to the public. 

Cell (Hands and Mirror), 1995
Marble, painted metal, and mirror
63 x 48 x 45 inches
Promised gift of Barbara Lee


Louise Bourgeois has become one of the most influential artists of our time. Her emotionally charged body of work—a distinctive mix of abstraction and figuration—delves into childhood memories and the struggles of everyday life. In the 1980s, Bourgeois began a series titled Cells: a combination of sculptural elements both found and made, these installations are suggestive depictions of emotions or memories. In Cell (Hands and Mirror), a finely hewn sculpture of interlocked hands is enclosed by electrical panel doors lined with small mirrors, resulting in a kaleidoscopic reflection of various perspectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently, this work is not on view to the public.

Arched Figure No. 1, 1997
Fabric, rubber, and steel
9 x 20 x 6 ½ inches
Vitrine: 69 x 22 x 30 inches
Promised gift of Barbara Lee


Since the mid 1990s, Bourgeois recycled used fabric as the material for many sewn sculptures. Stitching with bits of her old clothing, sheets, or towels, Bourgeois created small figures charged with strong emotions. Arched Figure No. 1 is made from pantyhose-like fabric stretched over chicken wire. This crudely stitched female form could be braced against some force: either sexual ecstasy or excruciating pain.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently, this work is not on view to the public.

Beautiful Night, 2004
Nine-color lithograph on music paper
20 ¾ x 27 ¾ inches
Artist's Proof 9 of 15
Edition of 50 with 15 APs and 7 HCs to benefit the
Brooklyn Academy of Music, 2004 
Gift of Nancy B. Tieken


Bourgeois printed this nine-color lithograph on music paper, seen in other works such as Jitterbug (1998) and Insomnia (1995). Beautiful Night is a particularly buoyant, hopeful image, especially for an artist best known for delving into the darker aspects of life. Yet this print is perhaps more in keeping with Bourgeois’s graphic style—we see her signature mark-making, as the mountains are formed from her spiraling, obsessive lines and repeated strokes.


 


Currently, this work is not on view to the public.

Janus, 1968
Glazed porcelain
7 x 6 x 12 inches
Unsigned, unnumbered edition of 7
Acquired through the generosity of the Sonnabend Family
in memory of Roger P. Sonnabend
2009.2


Bourgeois created six versions of Janus in 1968, five in bronze and one in porcelain, each suspended by a single wire and free to spin on its axis. This evocatively corporeal object suggests male and female attributes, formed out of sleekly polished, milky-hued porcelain.


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