Blind Man's Buff

Blind Man's Buff

1984

Part of a set. See all set records

Louise Bourgeois

(American, 1911-2010)

White marble on wooden base

Overall: 92.7 x 88.9 x 63.5 cm (36 1/2 x 35 x 25 in.)

Weight: 328 kg; 725 lbs.

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2002.29

Did you know?

Historians have made connections between the bulging, rounded forms in Blind Man's Buff and representations of Artemis of Ephesus, the goddess of fertility in Greek mythology, and the Venus of Willendorf, one of the earliest ancient art objects discovered.

Description

Combinations of opposites distinguish the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois. In Blind Man’s Buff, the smooth, opaque surface of the marble contrasts with the rough, porous wood of its base. In addition, the ambiguous, bulbous forms appear both phallic and breast-like, attributes combining both genders. Humor is also a key component in her work, as seen in the title, a variation on “Blind Man’s Bluff,” a child’s game in which one blindfolded person must look for others using only sound and touch. The artist’s alteration of “bluff” to “buff” has a dual meaning. It refers to the method of smoothing, or “buffing” marble, which highlights the rich history of marble sculpture. Also, “in the buff” references the sculpture’s likeness to the nude human body, a factor reinforced by the fabric folds visible at the sculpture’s edges, as if clothing has been cast aside.

Video

Blind Man's Buff
See also
Collection: 
CONTEMP - Sculpture
Department: 
Contemporary Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.