The Couple is a sculpture produced by Louise Bourgeois in 2003.
The sculpture shows an abstract interpretation of a couple in an act of embrace. Bourgeois creates a tension between what are hard, masculine materials and soft, feminine shapes. The tension between male and female forms, which morph between figurative and abstract forms, are evident in all her work focusing on sexuality and gender identity. She often draws from personal experiences of love, betrayal and loneliness.
This sculpture was on display along with other works produced by Bourgeois in an exhibition called ‘What We Call Love: Surrealism To Now,’ which showed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art from 12th September 2015 – 7 February 2016
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One of her more well known works is the sculpture called Maman located outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The large spider like sculpture refers to the protective and nurturing nature of her mother as well as her profession as a tapestry weaver. The figure of the spider is comparable to the imagery of spiders and other animals seen in the work of Salvador Dali (both artists had worked in the style of Surrealism). Several other copies of the Maman sculpture have been produced in varying sizes and are located throughout the world. The imagery of spiders is so prevalent in her work that Bourgeois was given the nickname Spiderwoman.