The importance of the phyche
The importance of the phyche

Louise Bourgeois’s Cells contain a strong emotional and psychological charge. In them, fundamental feelings are represented, including love, hate, frustration, and admiration. This approach allows the artist to reflect on the often ambiguous and contradictory nature of human emotions. The Cells also deal with fear. For Bourgeois, fear is pain, and pain can be manifested in different ways; it can be physical, emotional, psychological, mental, or even intellectual. Through her work, she tried to confront pain and give form and meaning to guilt, frustration, and suffering. A well-educated woman, Bourgeois was interested in neurology and psychoanalysis.

1. What elements in her works relate to fear? Why? And to love or hate?

2. Outside the museum, there is another, larger sculpture of a spider, entitled Maman, 1999. What did you feel as you walked among its legs?

3. Mirrors are recurring elements in her Cells. How do you think the artist sees herself?

Spider, 1997
Steel, tapestry, wood, glass, fabric, rubber, silver, gold and bone
449.6 x 665.5 x 518.2 cm
Collection The Easton Foundation
Photo: Maximilian Geuter © The Easton Foundation / VEGAP, Madrid