Kuspit will illustrate the tensions presented between the phallic and the womanly and how this suggests Bourgeois’ uncertainty about the nature of the female body and the character of female selfhood. An uncertainty that Kuspit will trace to animosity towards men, rooted in childhood traumas, making her a feminist by default, even when she explicitly denies that she is one. Bourgeois can be seen as the last of the -‘‘classical’’ modern artists, as much as a -‘‘postmodernist’’, for she reconciles Construction and Expression, the two poles of modern art which thinkers such as Adorno and Greenberg erroneously thought were at their best when they were kept apart.

Donald Kuspit is University Distinguished Professor of Art History and Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a contributing editor at Artforum, Sculpture and Tema Celeste and the Editor of Art Criticism. In 2000, he delivered the Getty Lectures at the University of Southern California. He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Fulbright Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, and Asian Cultural Council. Kuspit is the winner of the prestigious Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (1983). Selected publications include: The End of Art (Cambridge University Press, New York 2004); Signs of Psyche in Modern and Postmodern Art (Cambridge University Press, New York 1994/Akal, Madrid 2002); Psychostrategies of Avant Garde Art (Cambridge University Press, New York 2000); Idiosyncratic Identities: Artists at the End of the Avant-Garde (Cambridge University Press, New York 1996); The Cult of the Avant-Garde Artist (Cambridge University Press, New York 1993/ Ritter Verlag, Klagenfurt, Germany 1995).