Louise Bourgeois

Pink Days and Blue Days
1997

Not on view

Pink Days and Blue Days consists of a ten-foot-tall armature—resembling a tree or a closet organizer—from which hang spools of thread, a perfume flask, a doll’s torso, a cat-headed figurine, and articles of baby to adult-sized clothing from Louise Bourgeois’ life. The work refers to childhood, with its title suggesting the traditionally gendered colors of pink and blue, as well as its inclusion of a silk coat embroidered with the nicknames the artist was given as a girl: “Louise, Lise, Lison, Lisette, Louison, Louisette.” Yet the intimacy of the silk items, which have the sensual charge of undergarments, suggest something more mature. A lace baby gown hangs from bones in a disconcerting juxtaposition that seems related to the artist’s longstanding interest in Surrealism. For Bourgeois, Surrealism’s emphasis on the unconscious offered a means for exploring her own family history, in particular, the traumatic impact of her parents’ troubled marriage and her father’s affair with the family’s tutor. According to the artist, the bones in this work represent the “bone of contention,” a symbol of the rivalry between her parents to earn her affection by buying her clothing.

Artist
Louise Bourgeois

Title
Pink Days and Blue Days

Date
1997

Classification
Sculpture

Medium
Steel, fabric, bone, wood, glass, rubber and mixed media

Dimensions
Overall: 117 × 87 × 87 in. (297.2 × 221 × 221 cm)

Accession number
97.101a-s

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from The Lauder Foundation, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder Fund, the Painting and Sculpture Committee, the Tom Armstrong Purchase Fund, Danielle Lemmon and the Jack E. Chachkes Endowed Purchase Fund

Rights and reproductions information
© The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY



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