American, born France, 1911-2010
The images in Louise Bourgeois’s “Nature Studies” series range from hermaphroditic animals to disembodied body parts. She repeatedly used eyes in her work, underscoring her belief in the validity and importance of vision and communication: “It has to do . . . with the power of communication established by the eyes, very specially in the case of flirtatious eyes. You might say that there is an eye language that has nothing to do with body language . . . it has to do with a language of sympathy. It is completely mysterious and completely reliable. It’s terribly important since most communication is completely untrue.”
In this sculpture, the white marble “eyeballs” are not integrally connected to the pink slab. If the work were lifted, they would roll away. For the artist, this instability reflected the potential of losing control of one’s emotions when communicating through the eyes. Bourgeois chose pink marble not only because it recalls a flesh tone but also because she found the color seductive and feminine. She further worked the marble surface to create multiple indentations that represent life’s inevitable difficulties and their often imperfect resolutions.
Label from One Another: Spiderlike, I Spin Mirrors, March 7–June 1, 2014