Without intending to make a printed image, Bourgeois used a copper plate that was handy on her desk to scratch out this diagram as she was describing her Staten Island house to a visitor. She asked to have an impression pulled at a later date, simply because the plate was with some others being printed at the time.
This image, according to Bourgeois, "has to do with one way to approach a problem... by putting it down on a map or a grid to analyze it. It is a comforting feeling to get a grip on a subject. This is my house and plot on Staten Island."
(Bourgeois had worked for years on a house she owned there, as if it were a sculpture, not intending to live in it.) "This was a plan I had. It was a wish, but then a disappointment. Yet the possibility of a solution, by plotting it out, is better than nothing." Bourgeois explained: "The house is filled with back doors and an entrance. The problem is to try to reach the back road... to find another way to get out." Comparing it to her nest-like, labyrinthine sculptures of the 1960s, she said, "This is the beginning of a lair." (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 243.)
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