Father and Son

Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
© Benjamin Benschneider

Father and Son


Louise Bourgeois

American (born French); born 1911, Paris; died 2010, New York

Internationally acclaimed artist Louise Bourgeois created Father and Son especially for the Olympic Sculpture Park. Surrealism, a strong influence on Bourgeois' early work and its psychological themes, informs this fountain, her first permanent project sited on the West Coast. As the fountain's water rises and falls, first the father, then the son, are engulfed in water and separated. Bourgeois' representation of father and son portrays a vulnerable and poignant situation, as the two face each other with arms outstretched, striving to overcome a seemingly insurmountable divide.
Stainless steel, aluminum, water, and bronze bell
36 ft. L x 26 ft. W overall dimension of fountain basin; 77 in. H: Father figure; 57 in. H: Son figure
Gift of the Estate of Stu Smailes
Provenance: Commissioned from the artist by Seattle Art Museum (funds from Estate of Stu Smailes), 2004-2006
Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
Now on view at the Olympic Sculture Park

My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama...

Louise Bourgeois


Published ReferencesCorrin, Lisa Graziose et al. "Olympic Sculpture Park." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 2007, illus. pp. 58-61

Kangas, Matthew, "Sculpture", October 2007, Vol 26, No. 8

Failing, Patricia, "Time and Duration: Louise Bourgeois's", Sculpture Review Magazine, Summer 2008, p. 26 - 29

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