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Overall: 49 x 80 x 49 cm (19 5/16 x 31 1/2 x 19 5/16 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2002.29.b
© The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Blind Man's Buff synthesizes the complex themes and images that have always informed Louise Bourgeois's art, including myth, metaphor, and the human body. Mischievous humor is another key to her work, as evidenced in the piece's title, a variation on "Blind Man's Bluff." In this child's game, one person is blindfolded and must seek out other players using only sound or touch. Indeed, several of this sculpture's bulbous forms evoke peering eyes with dilated pupils; others, however, disallow sensory perception. A central issue of Blind Man's Buff is what Bourgeois has termed "polarization," or the stress between clear opposites. The form's soft contours contrast with the hard blunt nature of the marble, while the relationship between finished and unfinished surfaces creates a dynamic tension. The work's anthropomorphic shapes are suggestive, yet they are ultimately ambiguous. Bourgeois once stated, "All my work is suggestive; it is not explicit. Explicit things are not interesting because they are too cut and dried and without mystery."
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