Research: Luce Center for American Art

Accession #1994.124
Artist Louise Bourgeois
MediumPink marble and steel base
Dimensions28 1/2 x 36 x 23 in. (72.39 x 91.44 x 58.42 cm)
SignedSigned: "L.B. 90"
Credit LinePurchased with funds given by Harry Kahn, Mrs. Carl L.Selden, the David H. Cogan Foundation, Inc., Contemporary Art Council, gift of Edward A. Bragaline, by exchange, and the Mary Smith Dorward Fund
LocationAmerican Identities: Art Making / Centennial Era

Curatorial Remarks: Throughout her career, Louise Bourgeois experimented with various methods 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.