The Opposite of Sexy

We were in our shrink’s waiting room when we read about the Guggenheim’s current retrospective of Louise Bourgeois’ career. The loony-bin setting was perfect, because this old broad is certifiable – and fucking great. More serendipitous still, we’d just seen The Mist, Frank Darabont’s third film based on a Stephen King tale, and realized that the monsters in The Mist are ringers for Bourgeois’ most famous work, Maman, a creepsville-deluxe sculpture of a malevolent arachnid that lurks outside the National Gallery of Canada.

Bourgeois is no horror monger, however, though her stuff can be horrifying in a high-tone sort of way. She’s a highly influential modernist/postmodernist, trained at the Sorbonne, who’s still kicking the teeth out of art-world conventions at age 96. Her best works are simultaneously whimsical and threatening, and every one boils down to sex, though they’re not particularly sexy. The three Bourgeois paintings on view at ASU Art Museum ain’t the Guggenheim retro, but it’ll have to do until a more comprehensive Bourgeois exhibit comes along.

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 15. Continues through Aug. 1, 2008