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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 675/I

Sacs Ouvert

State/Variant:
State I of II
Date:
1946
Alternate Title:
White Whale; Sacs Ouverts Flottants (Floating Open Sacks)
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "Open Sacks"
Themes:
Abstraction, Motherhood & Family, Nature
Techniques:
Engraving
Description:
Engraving
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 6 7/8 × 4 7/8" (17.5 × 12.4 cm); sheet: 9 13/16 x 6 15/16" (25 x 17.7cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right margin, pencil.
Inscription:
"ètat 2" lower right margin, pencil, artist's hand. Verso: "white whale / sacs ouverts / flottants / 5 x 7 / 10 [circled]" center, pencil, artist's hand.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
The artist at Atelier 17, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state I
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Not issued as a published edition at any state.
Artist’s Remarks:
According to Bourgeois, this is about "pods and germination... it is about pregnancy."

The mound on the ground also provoked a memory of the family dog, Pyram. "The dog had died, but when my father buried him the hole was not deep enough... so, Pyram stayed with us." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 111.)
Curatorial Remarks:
In the second half of the 1940s, Bourgeois spent time at Atelier 17, the print workshop of Stanley William Hayter. The workshop had transferred operations from Paris to New York during the war years. It is not known precisely which prints she made at the workshop since she also worked at home on a small press. The designation of “the artist at Atelier 17” as printer means that the impression was likely made at the workshop. The designation is based on dates, inscriptions, techniques favored at Atelier 17, and/or stylistic similarities to images in the illustrated book “He Disappeared into Complete Silence,” which the artist repeatedly cited as having been made at Atelier 17. It is also possible that Bourgeois worked on certain plates both at home and at the workshop, or pulled impressions at both places.

Given the inscription on the verso of state II, it appears that Bourgeois considered this composition for "He Disappeared Into Complete Silents," but did not finally include it.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 47
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
131.1990.1

Sacs Ouvert
1946

States

Louise Bourgeois. Sacs Ouvert. 1946
State I of II
1946
Louise Bourgeois. Sacs Ouvert. 1946
State II of II
1946