Louise Bourgeois

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No title c.1951

© The Easton Foundation. VAGA/Copyright Agency Purchased 1983

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Small pen and ink drawings dating from the mid 1940s to the early 50s are among the Louise Bourgeois’ most characteristic and important group of works. Depicting fine line drawings widely interpreted as representing strands of long hair or skeins of tapestry yarn—strung loose, knotted and hanging—they are both abstract and autobiographic in nature (Bourgeois wore her hair very long for most of her life). In an exhaustive analysis of the artist’s work, historian Robert Storr suggests that it is with the advent of these drawings that Bourgeois took on her most unique and, arguably, important artistic trait. While always highly articulate in describing her own motivations for making works, these drawings represent the moment when Bourgeois’ art could never again be conclusively interpreted by others as ‘representing any one thing, or class of things’.[i]

Sally Foster

[i] Robert Storr, Intimate geometries: the art and life of Louise Bourgeois, Thames & Hudson, London, 2016, p 112.