Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010)
Etching with opaque watercolor, and colored pencil
Sheet: 22 5/8 × 21 1/2 in. (57.5 × 54.6 cm) Plate: 17 1/4 × 18 1/4 in. (43.8 × 46.4 cm)
Printed by Wingate Studio; published by Benjamin Schiff
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Print Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
In her drawings and prints, Louise Bourgeois often incorporated texts ranging from single, often repeated, words to longer statements. At the center of this drawing, she wrote a sentence in red pencil: “I held his eyes within my gaze and I would not let them go.” The words float in a pale white disc, which is encircled by a light gray ring. The overall form resembles a pale eye with a dead-on gaze. In its outer ring, wobbly script proclaims yes yes yes over and over. Despite the precision of the sentence, the mantra-like recurrence of “yes” suggests the point at which language becomes abstract. Completed in tandem with other intimate works on paper during the months of 2003 and 2004, Yes recalls her earlier Insomnia Drawings (1994-1995), a suite of sketches of replicating motifs, unconscious images, and poems that came to mind for Bourgeois during her wakeful nighttime hours.