Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait

_Spiral Woman,_ 2002. Drypoint and engraving, with selective wiping, on fabric. Collection Harlan & Weaver, Inc., New York. © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY. LN2017.758

Louise Bourgeois. Spiral Woman. 2002 33600

Spiral Woman, 2002. Drypoint and engraving, with selective wiping, on fabric. Collection Harlan & Weaver, Inc., New York. © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY. LN2017.758

Deborah Wye: The Spiral Woman incorporates one of Bourgeois’ most well-known abstract motifs. She said the spiral was a way of controlling chaos. But here she combines it with the figurative image of a woman. You can see how she's interpreted this image from a bronze sculpture to a print. In the print, she adds a face and she adds hair. But both are hanging from a string, and that's a sense of precariousness that she feels.

Here you see three states of the evolving image of the Spiral Woman; it reveals how Bourgeois was thinking and developing this imagery. And the final print is placed on an old piece of fabric, which has its own resonance of memory.

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