Louise Bourgeois

The Red Room - Child, 1994

Louise Bourgeois
The Red Room - Child
Dimensions and medium
Wood, metal, wire, glass, and wax, 210.8 × 353 × 274.3 cm
Artwork description
Louise Bourgeois’ installation The Red Room – Child is built in the form of a semi-closed structure, delineated by a series of adjoining wooden doors that circle a group of enigmatic objects bathed in red. Multiple thread bobbins and coiled glass tubes are meticulously laid out on display units throughout the space, echoing the helical motif of the outer shell. In this universe where strange and disparate objects co-exist, hands lie intertwined on plinths, or rest inert and separate from each other. This mysterious mise en scène is visible through a single window, adding to the viewer’s sense of voyeurism. Both cloistered and observed, the installation evokes feelings of isolation, but also of release, as expressed by the recurring spiral motif. Part of a distinct series of “cell-like” structures produced by Bourgeois in the early 1990s, The Red Room – Child reaffirms the powerful symbolic iconography that drove her work, with its universal themes of human and family relations, of childhood, life, and death.

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