Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books
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Bourgeois began making prints in the late 1930s, first experimenting at home with relief techniques, and then learning lithography at the Art Students League. She practiced intaglio techniques, which she preferred, at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, and also bought her own small press. When she turned to sculpture later in the 1940s, Bourgeois abandoned printmaking, taking it up again only in the late 1980s, when it then became integral to her work.
There is no rivalry... They say
the same things in different ways.”
—Louise Bourgeois
Paris Review. 1993. Aquatint and drypoint, with gouache additions


The effects of aquatint can resemble watercolor, and Bourgeois usually worked in this technique if her source drawing included watercolor or other tonal areas. The suggestion would come from a professional printer, such as Felix Harlan of Harlan & Weaver... More
Hanging Weeds. 1949. Engraving


Bourgeois had a reverence for what she called the “symbolic power” of engraving, often referring to its ability to “convert aggression” into something useful... More
Femme Maison (Woman House). 1984. Photogravure, with chine collé


Photogravure is employed primarily for transferring images onto printing plates, and Bourgeois occasionally took advantage of its function... More
Girl with Hair. 2007. Digital print on fabric


Bourgeois turned to digital technologies for printmaking when her 2002 fabric book, Ode à l’oubli, was editioned. Judith Solodkin of SOLO Impression, a longtime friend of Bourgeois’s, was called upon to determine the means of duplicating that unique volume, which is filled with sewn collages of varying materials and patterns... More
Ambition Shadowless. 1989. Etching


Bourgeois made use of hard ground etching relatively infrequently. Its fluid linearity appealed to her less than the more irregular effects of drypoint... More
During the War: Shortage of Food in Easton. 1942–1944. Woodcut


Bourgeois made a relatively small number of relief prints, which is surprising given that the cutting and gouging inherent to the processes might make them natural choices for a sculptor... More
Untitled, plate 12 of 12, from the portfolio, Anatomy. 1990. Drypoint


Bourgeois employed drypoint more frequently than any other technique by far, creating some 1,500 prints that make sole use of it, or adding it in combination with other intaglio techniques... More
The Night. 2001. Lithograph


It is usually painters who are attracted to lithography, since marking the flat surface of a lithographic stone or plate most closely approximates painting... More
Untitled, no. 2 of 24, from the series, Lullaby. 2006. Screenprint


The technique of screenprint is usually selected for its bold and assertive flat surfaces. While these were not effects Bourgeois usually sought in her printmaking, she was attracted to the technique through the suggestion of printers with whom she worked... More
Crochet III, from the series, Crochet I-V. 1997. Mixografia

Other Techniques

In addition to traditional printmaking techniques and newer digital processes, Bourgeois occasionally turned to other means for her printed and editioned works... More