Eye Benches I

Photo: C.E. Mitchell

Eye Benches I


Louise Bourgeois

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

Louise Bourgeois' functional Eye Benches I, II, III resemble giant observant eyes. The three sets of two benches, carved out of granite by Italian stonemasons, are distinguished from one another by variations in scale, form, and detailing, and by the size of the attached seats. The enlargement and displacement of the eye recall the perspectives of Surrealism, a source for these images. Visitors encounter the disembodied eyes, which seem to follow their every movement, and later discover that the enigmatic sculptural objects provide comfortable outdoor seating.
Black Zimbabwe granite
48 3/4 x 53 x 45 1/4 in. (123.8 x 134.6 x 114.9cm)
Gift of the artist, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Photo: C.E. Mitchell
Now on view at the Olympic Sculture Park

They are the expression, in abstract terms, of emotions and states of awareness. Eighteenth century painters made 'conversation pieces'; my sculptures might be called 'confrontation pieces.'

Louise Bourgeois


Published ReferencesCorrin, Lisa Graziose et al. "Olympic Sculpture Park." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 2007, illus. p. 41

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

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM

Supported by Microsoft logo