Jun 17, 2020

Blind Man's Buff

Blind Man's Buff


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Louise Bourgeois

(American, 1911–2010)

White marble on wooden base

Overall: 92.7 x 88.9 x 63.5 cm (36 1/2 x 35 x 25 in.)

Weight: 400 kg (881.85 lbs.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2002.29.a

Did you know?

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.


Wit and play are essential elements throughout Louise Bourgeois's work. Here the work's title is a variation on "Blind Man's Bluff," the child's game in which a blindfolded person must look for fellow players using only sound and touch. The artist's revision of "bluff" to "buff" has a dual meaning. It evokes the method of smoothing or "buffing" marble, which was part of the work's production. "Buff" also relates to the sculpture's evocation of nude body parts, both male and female. The allusion to nudity is reinforced by the fabric folds visible at the sculpture's edges, as if clothing has been cast aside.

See also
CONTEMP - Sculpture
Contemporary Art
Type of artwork: 

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