Louise Bourgeois has been working out formal and emotional issues in her unique body of sculpture for more than fifty years. This work in the Garden was cast in bronze from a painted wood sculpture of the same title, from the late 1940s. Around that time, Bourgeois had been exhibiting her sticklike, carved wooden sculptures in groupings, exploring almost human relationships among the pieces. In The Blind Leading the Blind, she brought seven pairs of these figures together in a single group and bound them at their tops with a lintel. The artist has suggested that the sculpture portrays “people who were fated to be destroyed together.” The tapered, leglike forms have a rich resonance in Bourgeois’s art and life—from the stilts that support the “Woman-Houses” in her early drawings to her childhood memories of crawling beneath the family table and of reconstructing the damaged legs at the bottoms of frayed tapestries for her parents’ restoration business.
© 1998 Walker Art Center