Homely Girl, a Life, 1992

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In this collaboration with American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005), Louise Bourgeois illustrates Miller's short story, Homely Girl, with two different sets of prints, each accompanying identical text in a two-volume set. One of the volumes features a series of delicate line etchings of flowering and sprouting plants, suggesting a latent eroticism. The other is illustrated with strange, larger than life ophthalmologic studies of human eyes, disconcerting in their potent visual impact.

Miller's novella recounts the life of Janice Sessions, a Manhattan homemaker who struggles to find her place in a changing world. Deemed "homely" by her aristocratic mother, she rejects her parents' crass materialism and through a series of events, frees herself from forty years of marriage to her Stalinist husband, whose strident political orthodoxy and moral relativism she ultimately rejects. She eventually finds happiness when she meets a blind classical musician, who loves her for the beauty of her character.

Homely Girl, a Life
Artist Life
American (born France),1911-2010
Accession Number
Peter Blum Edition, New York (publisher). (Elizabeth Phillips, New York); sold to MIA, 1993.
Catalogue Raisonne
Wye/Smith 126-143; MoMA 926-943
Curator Approved

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