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  • Louise Bourgeois was an obsessive list-maker, writing things down in diaries, on the backs of drawings, and on countless sheets of paper. Serving the same function as making sculpture, the act of writing harnessed her unpredictable emotions and thoughts, giving them concrete form outside of her body and mind. Bourgeois’ fascination with dictionaries and encyclopaedia’s enhanced her keen sensitivity to language, enabling her use of words with precise meaning and nuance. The artist kept three types of diaries, ‘the written, the spoken (into a tape recorder), and my drawing diary, which is the most important’. In I Said Yes With My Eyes Bourgeois repeats the word ‘Yes’, encircling her deep inner thought in the centre of the image, and reinforcing her message without saying it aloud. 

    "I love language...you can stand anything if you write it down. Words put in connection can open up new relations...a new view of things." —Louise Bourgeois

    • 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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Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 21 January 2021