Changes from state VI, in engraving: form added in upper center comp. Additions in pencil: face added in center right comp. and forms added in lower right comp., both anticipating state VIII.
Proximity to rivers was of importance to the Bourgeois family's tapestry restoration business. This connection to rivers remained with the artist long after her childhood and inspired a number of projects, including "Water Divide," "Ode à la Bièvre," and "Point d'ironie," seen in Related Works in the Catalogue below.
Bourgeois began this untitled composition of French waterways in 1997. She continued to work on this composition into the 2000s, incorporating changes to the composition after making a source drawing on a photocopied map of France.
An additional known impression of this composition was not available for reproduction. From a poor quality image of the print, it has been determined that it may be an impression of an additional state that comes between states II and III, as illustrated in the Evolving Composition Diagram below. The print in question appears to have been burnished in the upper left composition, and not yet further developed in the lower left. This was determined without the benefit of being able to examine the print in person. It is inscribed by the artist "1997 / L'année du voyage / en France / Le 5 mai Becky a 14 ans / Bon Anniversaire" in the lower composition, and signed "LB" in the lower right composition. This impression was gifted to the daughter of a close friend on the occasion of her first visit to France.
The paper type could not be documented because this work is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person. The plate dimensions are from the impression in MoMA's Collection. The sheet dimensions were provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.
According to Felix Harlan, of Harlan & Weaver, New York, Bourgeois's map compositions stem from her desire to sort through memories and associations with different places. The artist used preexisting maps as references for her own abstracted compositions, excluding the information essential to map reading. In this way, the maps served more as personal documents for the artist, rather than as references or guides.
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