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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION

Cat. No. 767, unique variant 1

La Famille (#1)

State/Variant:
Unique variant
Date:
2006
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "The Family"
Themes:
Abstraction, Motherhood & Family
Techniques:
Etching
Description:
Soft ground etching, with watercolor, gouache, ink, and pencil additions
Support:
Paper
Dimensions:
plate: 55 5/8 × 16 13/16" (141.3 × 42.7 cm); sheet: 59 1/4 × 19 3/4" (150.5 × 50.2 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right comp., pencil.
Inscription:
Verso: "la famille #1" artist's hand.
Publisher:
Osiris, New York
Printer:
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
Edition:
Unique
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
This is one of 3 unique variants that incorporate this plate, printed alone or in combination with another plate in a multi-panel work. When the plate is used alone, the work is included in the Evolving Composition Diagram. When it is printed with another plate, it is included in Related Works in the Catalogue.

See Evolving Composition Diagram:
"La Famille (#1)"
"La Famille"

See Related Works in the Catalogue:
"You Touched Me!"

About the "La Famille" edition:
The artist's inscriptions on the proofs before the edition indicate there were once 4 states of this composition. According to the publisher Ben Shiff of Osiris, New York, the only impression of state III was destroyed by the artist. The progression of this composition was thus determined by what is found on the existing prints, and state IV is now state III.

Selective wiping varies from impression to impression.

There is 1 known impression of state III, outside the edition. It is signed "Louise Bourgeois" in the lower right margin and inscribed "4th state" in the lower left margin by the artist, both in pencil.
Background:
Benjamin Shiff, the director of the Osiris imprint, collaborated with Bourgeois in a highly experimental phase of printmaking that occupied the last years of her life, from 2005 to 2010. He first established a working relationship with the artist in the 1990s, but the late period is particularly noteworthy for the innovative and complex large-scale projects that evolved at that time. Shiff made use of professional workshops for printing, but he oversaw the creation of the printing plates as Bourgeois worked on them in her home studio. He also provided assistance as she added extensive hand additions and texts, and as she combined individual compositions into multi-panel works and illustrated books.
Curatorial Remarks:
The paper type and color of the hand additions could not be documented because this work is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person. The plate dimensions are from the impression in MoMA’s Collection. The sheet dimensions were provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.

Although the numbering in the title suggests that it is part of a group, this work is the only known unique variant with this title.

The hand additions obscure the etching, making it difficult to determine if this is an impression of state I, II, or III.

La Famille
2005-2008

States

Louise Bourgeois. La Famille. 2005
La Famille
State I of III
2005
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. La Famille. 2005
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION La Famille
State II of III
2005
Published Louise Bourgeois. La Famille. 2006
La Famille
State III of III
2006

Unique variants

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. La Famille (#1). 2006
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION La Famille (#1)
Unique variant
2006
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. La Famille. 2008
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION La Famille
Unique variant
2008