Discussion Questions: Louise Bourgeois’s The Nest

Artwork image, Louise Bourgeois The Nest

Louise Bourgeois, The Nest, 1994; collection SFMOMA, purchase through the Agnes E. Meyer and Elise S. Haas Fund and the gifts of Doris and Donald Fisher, Helen and Charles Schwab, and Vicki and Kent Logan; © Louise Bourgeois / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

  1. Describe the lines and shapes that you see in this work. For example, “I see a thin, curving line.”
  2. Is this work beautiful to you? Why or why not? Is it still art if it is not beautiful, or if it makes you uneasy? Why or why not?
  3. The artist who made this viewed the spider as her totem figure, meaning, a spirit or symbol that represents her. What totem figure would you choose to represent yourself? Why?