Loaded Objects

Paul McCarthy on the figural dissections of Louise Bourgeois

  • Jun 12, 2021

‘Our own body could be considered, from a topological point-of-view, a landscape with mounds and valleys and caves and holes. So it seems rather evident to me that our body is a figuration that appears in Mother Earth.’— Louise Bourgeois

Among 20th century artists, few mined the form of the human body more intimately, beautifully, brutally and symbolically than Louise Bourgeois, whose work is the subject of a recently opened exhibition at the Jewish Museum, ‘Louise Bourgeois, Freud’s Daughter,’ continuing through 12 September, 2021. The short list of artists who have engaged the body with comparable zeal unquestionably includes Paul McCarthy, who began by using his own as the intense focus of performance in the 1970s and expanded his work to sculpture, installation, film, painting and drawing that pushes at aesthetic extremes of bodily coherence. In this short interview, McCarthy speaks about his affinities with Bourgeois through the lens of one of her most unsettling figural fabric sculptures, Untitled, 2001.


Learn more or plan your visit to the exhibition here.