The most dramatic component of La Femme de ma vie (The woman of my life) is the large foldout aquatint printed in brilliant violet. The entire sheet is backed with pink lace, underscoring its evocation of feminine sexuality, and the same lace is used for the cover. Fautrier made the other prints, interspersed with the text pages, by cutting up extra copies of the large folded print. On the text pages he transcribed the book's title over and over in an increasingly manic handwriting that suggests romantic obsession. A poem by renowned French poet André Frénaud, also titled La Femme de ma vie, appears at the end of the book. Fautrier was a pioneer of Art informel (formless art), a European movement of the late 1940s and 1950s that loosely corresponds to American Abstract Expressionism in its emphasis on painterly abstraction. Although he is best known as a painter, Fautrier was also a committed printmaker; he made most of his prints to illustrate books.
Gallery label from New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois, June 13, 2012–January 7, 2013.