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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Showing 493 of 1986

Cat. No. 576/II

Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well

State/Variant:
State II of IV
Date:
1996
Alternate Title:
Magnet
Themes:
Objects
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 8 9/16 × 6 1/4" (21.7 × 15.8 cm); sheet: 10 1/16 x 7 11/16" (25.5 x 19.5 cm) (dimensions reflect full plate size; this is a partial print)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right margin, black ink.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state II
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of state IV.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state I, in drypoint: small oval added to center of well cover; shading lines added to edge of well cover.
Artist’s Remarks:
About the source drawing for plate 2 of 9, Bourgeois said: "We lived in Easton, where there was no city water and we were totally dependent on the well. The water table was low in Easton, so the well was quite deep.
The guilt feeling and the severity that inhabited the house were expressed by, 'You better be good or I'll push you down the well.' You see, that was the ultimate punishment. Certainly, I didn't push anybody into the well, but look at these here, one and two...my sons Jean-Louis and Alain. I did something wrong and sure enough, they pushed me in. I'm not accusing them....
The figure is screaming at the bottom of the well.
We have tunnel vision and we have bottom-of-the-well vision. If you visualize yourself down there, the question is, how are you going to get out? This philosophy is an optimistic philosophy. By hook or by crook, you are going to get yourself out. And I always did. But how? By drawing." (Quote cited in Bourgeois, Louise and Lawrence Rinder. "Louise Bourgeois Drawings and Observations." Berkeley: University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive University of California, Berkeley; Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1995, p. 76.)

"When you are at the bottom of the well, you look around and you say, who is going to get me out? In this case, Jerry [Gorovoy, the artist's assistant,] comes and he presents a rope, and I hook myself on the rope and he pulls me out. You see I can conceive of a way of getting out of the well. I'm not drowning. I'm just waiting for somebody." Interview with Lawrence Rinder, 9 May 1995 (Quote cited in Morris, Frances. "Louise Bourgeois" London: Tate Modern, 2007, p. 150.)
Curatorial Remarks:
In 1941, Bourgeois and her family purchased a small country house in Easton, Connecticut, which remains in the family.
Other Remarks:
According to the artist's assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, this refers to Bourgeois's idea to use a magnet to pull the well cover up from the bottom of the well at her country house.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
678.2008
This Work in Other Collections:
Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich, Switzerland
National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, Canada
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
New York Public Library, NY

Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well
1996

Source
1996

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Magnet. 1996
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION The Magnet
Ink and crayon on paper
1996

Source
1996

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Magnet. 1996
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Magnet
Ink, crayon, and pencil on paper
1996

States

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
State I of IV
1996
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
State II of IV
1996
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
State III of IV
1996
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
State IV of IV, variant
1996
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 9 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
State IV of IV
1996

Portfolio
1996

Louise Bourgeois. The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
The View from the Bottom of the Well
1996
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