Through out her career Louise Bourgeois has experirnented with various rnethods of representing body fragments in her sculptures. Many of them employ roughly fInished marble blocks, with the exquisitely carved figurative elements seamlessly growing from the stone mass. Hands appear frequently among these pIeces. As the most important tool of the artist, hands are celebrated in many forms. They are expressive of character and mood, and serve in the process of communication. The two finely carved hands in Décontractée appear in a moving gesture that suggests the relaxation and release that might follow a painful experience.