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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Showing 94 of 1986

Cat. No. 730/III

merci. mercy.

State/Variant:
State III of III
Date:
1992
Themes:
Words
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint
Support:
Smooth, wove Somerset paper
Dimensions:
plate: 17 3/4 x 27 3/8" (45.1 x 69.6 cm); sheet: 20 7/8 x 30 1/16" (53 x 76.4 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right margin, pencil.
Publisher:
Documenta, Kassel, Germany
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
45; plus 5 H.C. (numbered I/V-V/V), 5 P.P., 1 B.A.T.
Impression:
"V/V" lower left margin, pencil, unkown hand.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state I, in drypoint: letters widened by further hammered indentations.
Benefit Work:
For Documenta IX, 1992
Background:
Bourgeois showed her installation "Precious Liquids" at Documenta IX in 1992, seen below in Related Works in Other Mediums. To help finance Documenta IX, the curators commissioned some 60 artists (59 actually contributed) to make a benefit print or multiple, which would be editioned and sold in portfolios during the exhibition through the corporation that organizes the event, Documenta GmbH. Both well-known and lesser-known artists were invited to participate. Ten portfolios were created and issued as Editions A-J. With one exception, each included works by six artists.

For her print, Bourgeois used the phrase "merci. mercy.", which also appeared on a white garment, concealed by a long coat, in "Precious Liquids." The print is included in the portfolio designated Edition I, together with works by Marlene Dumas, Peter Kogler, James Lutes, Thanassis Totsikas, and an artist who goes by the name "readymades belong to everyone."

Bourgeois created this plate by hammering a nail through thin roofing copper.

The artist employed a similar technique in the print compositions “Tornado,” 1991-1992, and “We Love You,” 1992, seen in Related Works in the Catalogue below.
Artist’s Remarks:
"I want much more than thank you... I want forgiveness... I ask for mercy. Who is at fault? Who is the culprit? Is it you, or is it me? I would rather make it my trouble... then I could take care of it... I could become active instead of passive." (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 209.)
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 123
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
287.1994
This Work in Other Collections:
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC

merci. mercy.
1992

Source
1992

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Merci Mercy. 1992
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Merci Mercy
Ink and pencil on paper
1992

States

Louise Bourgeois. merci. mercy. 1992
State I of III
1992
Louise Bourgeois. merci. mercy. 1992
State I of III, variant
1992
Louise Bourgeois. merci. mercy. 1992
State II of III
1992
Published Louise Bourgeois. merci. mercy. 1992
State III of III
1992