Louise Bourgeois, “The Destruction of the Father” (1974)
Much of Louise Bourgeois’ work is spoken of in terms of the confessional and psychoanalytic, given her stated influence of her childhood relationships with her parents on her practice. From an interview with Cheryl Kaplan and Louise Bourgeois in db artmag:
CK: The Destruction of the Father, done in 1974 is an incredibly visceral piece, cast from lamb and chicken bones. The sculpture is overrun with tumorous protrusions. It’s scary, yet strangely natural. Destruction is about getting rid of someone but also keeping them around. The sculpture’s support resembles a field hospital stretcher. In what way were your childhood visits to see your wounded father in army hospitals during WWI part of this piece?
LB: I accompanied my mother during the War when she went from camp to camp to stay close to my father. I felt my mother’s hysteria. The images of the soldiers on the trains and in the hospital have stayed in my mind. The fear of abandonment is very strong within me and relates to that time.
Also well noted is the influence of Bourgeois’ awareness of her father’s infidelities to her mother. Her works,