Bourgeois, Untitled (Germinal), 1967-95
bronze with dark & polished patina, ed. 5/15. 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 8 Screen-print
Born in 1911 in France.
Louise Bourgeois left France in the 1930s and moved to America, where
she frequented the art crowd of 1940s New York. This included Marcel Duchamp
and other Surrealists. However, as a woman, Bourgeois felt isolated from
their world. She once said, "I had the feeling that the art scene belonged
to the men, and that I was in some way invading their domain. Therefore
my work was done but hidden away. I felt more comfortable hiding it."
Bourgeois' sculpture often subverts sexual icons. Untitled (Germinal)
challenges the dominating Freudian phallus through flaccid, delicate penile
Femme-Maison is part of a series of drawings and paintings Bourgeois
executed around 1946. This etching refers to an earlier work by Surrealist
Andre Masson. In 1938, he displayed a female mannequin with a birdcage
for a head. Bourgeois' version replaces the woman's head with a house,
the symbol of Western domesticity.