Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Eye Benches III

Photo: C.E. Mitchell

Eye Benches III


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
51 x 96 x 54 15/16 in. (129.5 x 243.8 x 139.6cm)
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 ReferencesKangas, Matthew, "Sculpture", October 2007, Vol 26, No. 8

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

Learn more about Equity at SAM