The Quartered One is from a series of sculptures that Bourgeois characterized as "lairs." The lair had contradictory implications for the artist, who said, “"[It] is for seclusion and rest. But the security of the lair can also be a trap." Hanging like a pendulum, with hollowed-out appendages that can be peered into and a spine-like track on its back, the sculpture suggests both a large nest and some kind of animal or carcass. By the time she made this sculpture, Bourgeois had been working for two decades, but her art had received scant critical attention. Beginning in the mid-1960s, however, a younger generation of artists and critics embraced her work for the way it mined psychological and subjective states.
Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017.