Louise Bourgeois, Fragile Goddess (2002). Fabric. 33 x 12.6 x 14 cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.
Included in the major 2007 Tate retrospective and derived from a similar bronze 30 years prior, here is Louise Bourgeois' Fragile Goddess from the Contemporary Evening Sale at Sotheby's on 21 October 2020.
Autobiographical in both theme and material, Louise Bourgeois' body of work represents a therapeutic desire to emotionally repair her tumultuous childhood. A Surrealist tactility—through her use of fabric—is combined with biomorphic forms, invoking themes of gender and womanhood. With rough, fragmented stitching in stark contrast to the body's soft fabric, Fragile Goddess is a potent evocation of the traumas of motherhood and childbearing.
On womanhood, Bourgeois wrote, 'I have endeavoured during my whole life time as a sculptor to turn woman from an object into an active subject'.