Louise Bourgeois: Room 4

Louise Bourgeois Untitled 1950

Louise Bourgeois Untitled 1950
Ink on paper
Courtesy Cheim & Read, Galerie Karsten Greve and Galerie Hauser & Wirth © Louise Bourgeois Photo: Christopher Burke

Most of Bourgeois’s Personages sculptures were originally exhibited as isolated figures. But gradually she began to group them in various configurations, ultimately bringing several together on a single base, as in Quarantania I and One and Others shown in this room. As she said, ‘My work grows from the duel between the isolated individual and the shared awareness of the group.’

Bourgeois made several versions of the sculpture known as The Blind Leading the Blind 1947–9, also shown in this room. Some were given alternative titles; others were painted red, black or pink. The current title refers to the biblical parable, in which spiritual uncertainty is echoed or symbolised by physical instability. Similarly, the ‘legs’ of Bourgeois’s sculpture are slightly unsteady; precariously held together as a group by a top-mounted cross beam.