Louise Bourgeois

Fillette (Sweeter Version)

1968–99, cast 2001

On display at Tate Modern

Medium
Latex over plaster
Dimensions
Object: 570 (+ 133 mm hanging ring) x 286 x 170 mm

Collection
Lent from a private collection 2014
On long term loan
Reference
L02885

Display caption

The title of this phallic sculpture means ‘little girl’, an ironic disjunction of word and object. Bourgeois has talked about this work in relation to her experiences as a wife, and a mother to three boys, which led her to see masculinity as far more vulnerable than she had imagined. ‘From a sexual point of view I consider the masculine attributes to be extremely delicate’, she explained. ‘They’re objects that the woman, myself, must protect.’ The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe famously portrayed Bourgeois with a version of this work tucked playfully under her arm.

Gallery label, October 2016