New York

Louise Bourgeois

Robert Miller Gallery

Few exhibitions have the force of emotional necessity of this show of drawings by Louise Bourgeois. Spanning nearly half a century—from 1939 to ’87—these 179 works include preparatory studies for sculptures and paintings as well as independent drawings. Although enormously varied in approach (as well as in the materials employed), they debunk much of the mystique still adhering to the notion of drawn “touch.” For what astonishes the viewer of these remarkably disciplined and controlled works is the tremulous vision of the human psyche to which they attest.

The exhibition began with a series of willfully childlike, “naïf”-style drawings executed in 1939 and the early ’40s. These register primitive fantasies, as in the drawing with the Picassoesque split head that describes a child’s vision of being swallowed whole by its elders. These works of the early ’40s display marks of Surrealism, such

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