PRINT March 1975

Louise Bourgeois: From the Inside Out

IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND a framework vivid enough to incorporate Louise Bourgeois’s sculpture. Attempts to bring a coolly evolutionary or art-historical order to her work, or to see it in the context of one art group or another, have proved more or less irrelevant. Any approach—nonobjective, figurative, sexually explicit, awkward or chaotic; and any material—perishable latex and plaster, traditional marble and bronze, wood, cement, paint, wax, resin—can serve to define her own needs and emotions. Rarely has an abstract art been so directly and honestly informed by its maker’s psyche.

Each period of Bourgeois’s work tends to correspond to the hidden rhythms of her life at the time. It ebbs and flows between anxiety, tenderness, fear, rage, and, sometimes, a stoic calm. Obsessed with her content, she moves back and forth between techniques and styles, doing what she has to do to exorcise the

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