Along with a group of drawings from the 1940s, in which pendulous forms are delineated in black ink, the selection of works presented in this volume demonstrate the myriad ways in which Louise Bourgeois approached material, form, and scale. They also affirm the various readings of Bourgeois' work, whether formal, psychological, biographical, or experiential. For Bourgeois, the sculptures' suspension is an expression of the psyche; as she stated: Horizontality is a desire to give up, to sleep. Verticality is an attempt to escape. Hanging and floating are states of ambivalence. In psychology, ambivalence refers to conflicting but coexisting feelings for the same person, place, or event. The many dualities at play within Bourgeois' oeuvre (organic/geometric; rigid/pliable; male/female) provide this condition with fertile ground.
Robert Pincus-Witten is an art critic, curator, and art historian. He is currently Director of Exhibitions at C&M Arts, New York.