David Hare was influenced by surrealist imagery, which often portrayed women in a sexual or violent way. In Woman Dressing a distorted female figure has been partially covered by strips of clay. The simple act of dressing has been transformed into something more sinister, as the snakelike forms appear to glide up the woman’s body and over her face. Hare wanted to provoke an emotional response in his audiences, calling upon them to decide what exactly is happening in the sculpture. In this way, the viewer becomes a participant in the scene and “completes” the artwork.
Smithsonian American Art Museum