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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 998.1/IV

Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence

State/Variant:
Version 1 of 4, state IV of VI
Date:
1946-1947
Alternate Title:
Ceiling Floating
Themes:
Abstraction, Architecture
Techniques:
Drypoint, Engraving
Description:
Engraving and drypoint
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 6 7/8 x 4 13/16" (17.5 x 12.3 cm); sheet: 9 15/16 x 13 1/8" (25 x 33.3 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right margin, pencil.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
The artist at Atelier 17, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of version 1, state IV
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof not included in any known example of "He Disappeared into Complete Silence," first edition; and proof before the editioning of version 2, state VIII, in the second edition. Published examples of the first edition are identified by Example numbers in the Evolving Composition Diagram below. The published example of the second edition is the last entry in the second version row of the Evolving Composition Diagram below.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1, state III, in engraving: wall, door, and bottom oval further developed.
Background:
The first edition of the illustrated book, “He Disappeared into Complete Silence” (cat. no. 1228) was not completed with 54 examples, as announced on the colophon in 1947; it seems few volumes were issued and none included the “Alternative Plate.” At that time, Bourgeois was actively working in printmaking at the Atelier 17 workshop. She decided to create an illustrated book edition with hopes of making her work more widely known. As it turned out, the book was not a success. Later, in the 1980s, Bourgeois began to assemble examples of the book from texts and plates still in her possession. Some of these “assembled” examples (See cat. nos. 1228 [Examples 12, 13, 15, 16]), included a tenth plate, added to the original nine. That tenth plate is the “Alternative Plate,” so-called for cataloguing purposes.

In the 1980s, Bourgeois also began efforts to reissue the book. The printing plates for the original illustrations no longer existed, so she set about producing new ones. She worked first, in 1984, with printer Deli Sacilotto, of Iris Editions, New York, to create photogravures using 1947 impressions of Plates 1, 3, and the “Alternative Plate.” Then, in 1990, she created engraved versions of Plates 2 and 6 with the assistance of Christian Guérin of Gravure, New York. First, though, in order to determine whether Guérin’s engraving was suitable, she asked him to engrave two similar compositions. (See “Atlantic Avenue: Transparent Houses” [cat. nos. 1054.1, .2, .3].)

In 1993, Bourgeois finally turned the project over to printer Felix Harlan of Harlan & Weaver, New York, with whom she had begun to work on a regular basis. Harlan would ultimately serve as both printer and coordinator of the second edition. He started out by making reprints of some of the 1983 photogravures created with Sacilotto, and the 1990 engravings created with Guérin. In addition, since by then Bourgeois had located three of the original printing plates from the 1940s (two versions of Plate 3 and one version of Plate 4), Harlan made reprints from those, but they were too distressed for use in a future edition. Finally, Bourgeois decided to work with photogravure as the starting-off point for all the compositions in the book, in order to keep the plates as close as possible to those of the 1947 edition. In 1995, new photogravure plates were made by Renaissance Press from photographs of the first edition in the New York Public Library (cat. no. 1228, Example 12). Working with Harlan, Bourgeois ultimately re-worked these photogravure plates with engraving, also adding aquatint, drypoint, scorper and watercolor additions in some instances.

Bourgeois worked intermittently on this project for over a decade, with the second edition appearing in 2005 as a benefit publication for the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The book includes the nine original illustrations, along with the “Alternative Plate,” and an eleventh plate titled “Spider.” In addition to the plates, it includes text pages from 1947 that had remained with Bourgeois, as well as a new table of contents, foreword, and colophon. The housing was constructed to match that of the 1947 first edition.
Artist’s Remarks:
"We have entered inside a structure... but there is no window... only a small door. And the occupant is too big to go through the door... it is inflated... it is very emotional. She is trapped; but she is the trapper... she traps herself. She is trapped by her own devices."

Bourgeois related a fable about the "desire to escape." It was a story of a rat. "The rat comes in from under the floor. He finds a beautiful room and a cheese. He gulps and gulps and grows bigger and bigger. Then he can't escape because he can't fit out the hole." She added, "The spot on the floor implies a light source. One can be rational... the spot can lead you to the source of light, and to escape." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 96.)
Curatorial Remarks:
A new state of version 1 has come to light since the cataloguing of this composition in Wye and Smith, "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois," 1994, pp. 96-97. The new state is now state V, and the following state is now state VI.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 38
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
137.1990.2

Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
1946-2005

First Version

Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 13). 1947
Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 13)
Version 1 of 4, state I of VI
1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 1 of 4, state II of VI
1946-1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 1 of 4, state III of VI
1946-1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 15). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 15)
Photocopy of version 1 of 4, state III of VI
1947
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 1 of 4, state IV of VI
1946-1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 1 of 4, state V of VI
1946-1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 12). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 12)
Version 1 of 4, state VI of VI
1947

Second Version

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 16). 1984, after a 1947 impression
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled alternative plate, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 16)
Version 2 of 4, state I of VIII
1984, after a 1947 impression
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1984; reprinted 1993
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state I of VIII
1984; reprinted 1993
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state II of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state III of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state III of VIII, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state IV of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state V of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VI of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VII of VIII, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII, variant
1995-2003
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2005
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 2 of 4, state VIII of VIII
2005

Third Version

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 3 of 4, state I of II
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 3 of 4, state I of II, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 3 of 4, state II of II
1995

Fourth Version

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Untitled, plate 10 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, only state
1995

Illustrated Book
2005

Louise Bourgeois. He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2005
He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second...
2005
More About This Work

Illustrated Book
1947 (first edition); 2005 (second edition)

Louise Bourgeois. He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first and second editions. 1947 (first edition); 2005 (second edition)
He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first and...
1947 (first edition); 2005 (second edition)
More About This Work

Illustrated Book
1947

Louise Bourgeois. He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition. 1947
He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first...
1947
More About This Work