Upward Thrust

Louise Bourgeois is, first, an artist of extremes and conflicting impulses – a fearless explorer of the mystery and complexity of our relations, with ourselves and others. Love and rage, conscious and unconscious, order, and chaos, trust and abandonment. Traversing these polarities, she made art of strange beauty, and piercing emotional power.


Extreme polarities indeed! But can we go further than only “traversing the polarities” as she did?

My task here in this essay is to enter Bourgeois’ art works and to participate in the polar thinking of their images but seeking the soul phenomenon “within” that produces such polarities in the first place—a deeper exploration beyond and yet “within” polarities. In this way I hope to release the soul of Bourgeois’ art. To put it another way, what possible future is “seeking” to enter our world through the twists and turns (or “lairs and labyrinths”) of Louise Bourgeois’ art?