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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 989.4/II, variant 1

Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition

State/Variant:
Version 4 of 4, state II of III, variant
Date:
1995-2003
Alternate Title:
La Maison Solitaire (The Solitary House); One Figure
Themes:
Architecture
Techniques:
Engraving, Photogravure
Description:
Engraving over photogravure
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 8 x 2 3/4" (20.3 x 7 cm); sheet: 14 15/16 x 11 1/4" (38 x 28.5 cm)
Signature:
"LB" lower right margin, pencil.
Inscription:
"o" left lower margin, pencil, unknown hand.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York for engraving,
Renaissance Press, Ashuelot, NH for photogravure (see Curatorial Remarks)
Edition:
12 known impressions of version 4, state II
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of version 4, state III in the second edition.

There are 7 additional known impressions of this state in MoMA's Collection (Accession Numbers: 1284.2008, 1285.2008, 1286.2008, 1287.2008, 1277.2012, 1281.2012, and 1283.2012). They are not illustrated due to their similarity to other impressions of this state in the Evolving Composition Diagram below.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 3: composition transferred to new plate in photogravure (see Curatorial Remarks).
Changes from version 4, state I, in engraving: composition reinforced throughout.
Background:
Bourgeois issued the first edition of “He Disappeared into Complete Silence” in 1947. (See cat. no. 1228.) At that time, while 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 and Bourgeois never completed the announced edition of 54 examples. It frustrated her that she had never finished the project and, much later, in the early 1980s, she began efforts to reissue the book.

Bourgeois could not locate the printing plates for the nine illustrations, 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. He also attempted to remake Plates 5, 8, and 9 in drypoint and/or etching. 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.

The 1947 first edition of “He Disappeared into Complete Silence” includes “vintage” examples issued in 1947 or thereabouts, as well as “assembled” examples that Bourgeois compiled in the 1980s from prints and texts that remained in her possession. Some of the “assembled” examples, including the one in the New York Public Library, have ten plates rather than the standard nine plates. The tenth plate is a composition called “Alternative Plate” for cataloguing purposes. The second edition includes this “Alternative Plate,” as well as an entirely new eleventh plate titled, “Spider.”

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. In addition to eleven plates, the book 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:
For Bourgeois, the early Plates 1, 2, and 3 had something of an “architectural idealism,” while the later plates have more “realism.... The mood starts out very fine, but it declines... it goes down and down.”

About Plate 1, Bourgeois said: “This shows how beautiful you are... you are quite perfect... quite a dish!... But even though she looks great, it is a façade. This is only the outside; the inside is something different. One can compensate for low self-esteem by doing something with the outside. But even with this great dignity, at the end the person disintegrates. There is always the feeling that something will give way. It is never too secure.” (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 76.)
Curatorial Remarks:
According to printer Paul Taylor, of Renaissance Press, the print workshop re-located from Hinsdale to Ashuelot, New Hampshire. On the colophon, the place is given as Hinsdale.

The Renaissance Press made photogravures from photographs of all ten plates in the New York Public Library’s example of “He Disappeared into Complete Silence” (cat. no. 1228, Example 12) to serve as the starting-off point for the second edition (see Background).
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
1288.2008

Plate 1, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
1946-2005

First Version

Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 1 of 4, only state
1946-1947
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 1 of 4, only state, variant
1946-1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 16). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 16)
Version 1 of 4, only state
1947

Second Version

Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1946-1947
Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 2 of 4, state I of IV
1946-1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 13). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 13)
Version 2 of 4, state I of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 15). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 15)
Photocopy of version 2 of 4, state I of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 14). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 14)
Version 2 of 4, state I of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 19). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 19)
Version 2 of 4, state I of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 10). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 10)
Version 2 of 4, state II of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 4). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 4)
Version 2 of 4, state III of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 8). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 8)
Version 2 of 4, state III of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 17). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 17)
Version 2 of 4, state III of IV
1947
Published Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 1). 1947
Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 1)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 2). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 2)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 3). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 3)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 5). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 5)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 6). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 6)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 7). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 7)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 9). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 9)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 11). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 11)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 12). 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 12)
Version 2 of 4, state IV of IV
1947

Third Version

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 18). 1984, after a 1947 impression
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, first edition (Example 18)
Version 3 of 4, only state
1984, after a 1947 impression
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence. 1984-1993
Plate 1 of 9, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence
Version 3 of 4, only state
1984-1993

Fourth Version

Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state I of III
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state I of III, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state II of III
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state II of III, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state II of III, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state II of III, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state II of III, variant
1995-2003
Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 1995-2003
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state III of III, variant
1995-2003
Published Louise Bourgeois. Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2005
Plate 1 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition
Version 4 of 4, state III of III
2005

Illustrated Book
1947

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

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