Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait

Louise Bourgeois. Lullaby. 2006

335: No. 8 of 24 from the series Lullaby, 2006. Screenprint on fabric. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist. © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY. 1352.2009.9

Deborah Wye: Lullaby is a series Bourgeois created in 2006. She was very interested in music her whole life. She also liked to draw on music paper. She liked the horizontal lines. They served as a foil for her, and she could react against them.

The images are very organic and rounded. She devised these shapes by taking common household objects and tracing them and turning them. In one you can see the object pretty well, it's a pair of scissors at the end of the top row, at the right.

Bourgeois is known for sexually explicit work and body parts, and I think those are suggested, even though these are utterly abstract. But also, she saw this as a musical score. So, these different shapes can be thought of as notes, and you can almost imagine singing along with them from line to line.

She first did the drawings with colored red pencil on paper, and then she translated them into screen print. And she liked the bold, flat quality and the assertiveness, so they had much more of a resonant sound in screen print than they had in drawing.

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