Cell (Glass spheres and hands) (1990-1993)

From the late 1980s until the mid 2000s, celebrated French-American artist Louise Bourgeois produced numerous ‘cells’ – closed environments made from industrial materials into which she placed various found objects and sculptural fragments. Cell (Glass spheres and hands) is typical of these installations, and within it Bourgeois represents each member of her family (including her father’s mistress) by a glass sphere. Within this psychologically charged space, a pair of clasped hands carved from marble forms Bourgeois’s self-portrait. Like other fragments of anatomy that appear throughout her art, these hands embody ideas of anxiety, isolation and emotional intensity.

Artwork: Louise BOURGEOIS, French 1911–2010, worked in United States 1938–2010, Cell (Glass spheres and hands) (1990-1993) Purchased with the assistance of the Leslie Moira Henderson Bequest, 1995.