[Louise Bourgeois] has emphasized the importance of the spiral in her work on numerous occasions, describing it as a twist that reminds her of wringing out wet fabric as a child, dreaming of wringing the neck of her father’s mistress. She has also compared it to “controlling chaos.” There are two directions to a spiral, she noted. “Beginning at the outside,” Bourgeois explained, “is the fear of losing control; the winding in is a tightening […] Beginning at the center is […] a representation of giving, and giving up control; of trust, positive energy, of life itself.”

Susan Cross

Susan Cross on Louise Bourgeois’s Untitled (1991–2001) piece in the Mass MoCA exhibition Louise Bourgeois (2017).

Bryce Wilner
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