The Eyes

Louise Bourgeois’ 1995 “Eyes” marks a departure for the artist in that the subject, unlike previous treatments, is explored as two large units representing eyes separated from any suggested surrounding physiognomy. Resting directly on the ground a calculated distance from each other, they occupy considerable volumes of space between and around them which the viewer is invited to fill in with his or her own imagination. Thus a giant’s head emerges in one’s mind. The works are carved in granite with pupils suggested by large polished nodules. These are not inset but are an integral part of the whole granite “eyeball.” The French-born Bourgeois has lived in New York for over half a century and is one of the most influential American artists of the past three decades. Her sculptures are known for their emotional immediacy, impressive workmanship and memorable symbolic imagery.