Louise Bourgeois - Contemporary Day Sale London Sunday, June 28, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    By the 1960s Louise Bourgeois' work moved away from wooden sculptures and towards the use of new media such as bronze, marble and rubber. At this time, Bourgeois also became associated with the Feminist Movement and her work became a constant exploration of themes including fetishism, feminism and femininity. Her childhood memories and her relationship with her parents continued to retain its importance in her work as well.
    In her work entitled Germinal which was conceived in 1967 one can detect references to the Freudian definition of ‘fetishism'. In his writings, Freud defined fetish ‘as a substitute for the woman's (mother's) phallus which the little boy once believed in and does not wish to forego.'The womb-like base of the sculpture alludes to the figure of the mother, whilst the phallic forms in the upper half refer to fetish itself.The texture and shine given off by the bronze is also significant ‘as the material support of the phallic forms, as in Germinal 1967..., we find ourselves thinking of the Freudian patient's desire for "shine" or "glanz"'. (R. Krauss, Louise Bourgeois,ed. Francis Morris,Tate Publishing 2007, London p. 145)

  • Artist Biography

    Louise Bourgeois

    French-American • 1911 - 2010

    Known for her idiosyncratic style, Louise Bourgeois was a pioneering and iconic figure of 20th and early 21st century art. A prolific sculptor, printmaker, draftsman, and painter, Bourgeois has been linked to Surrealism and Feminist art, though she developed a singular voice that betrays firm categorization to a specific art historical movement. Her artworks have been widely understood as visceral meditations of subjective states, such as loneliness, jealousy, pride, anger, fear, love, and longing. Employing diverse materials including metal, fabric, wood, plaster, paper, and paint in both intimate and monumental scales, she used recurring themes and subjects (animals, insects, architecture, the figure, text and abstraction) as form and metaphor to explore the fragility of relationships and the human body. Bourgeois’ works reside in major institutional collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Tate, London.

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Untitled (Germinal)

Bronze, silver nitrate patina.
15.8 x 20 x 20.3 cm. (6 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 8 in).
Cast in 1995. Initialed 'L.B.' and numbered of 15 on the underside. This work is from an edition of 15 plus three artist's proofs.

£35,000 - 45,000 

Sold for £43,250

Contemporary Day Sale

29 June 2009, 4pm