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White marble on wooden base
Overall: 92.7 x 88.9 x 63.5 cm (36 1/2 x 35 x 25 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2002.29
© The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
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.
Blind Man’s Buff is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the children’s game in which one player is blindfolded and designated as “it.” He must find the other players using only the sense of touch. Made from polished marble with ambiguously rounded forms, the surface of this sculpture invites the viewer’s touch, juxtaposing the softness of the curves with the roughness of the wooden base. Eyes and sight are a common theme in Bourgeois’s sculpture, possibly confronting the blind eye her mother turned to her father’s affair with an English governess. She delves into the past to address issues of love, betrayal, anxiety, and sexuality while exorcising her childhood demons through the physical act of chipping away at a block of marble.
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