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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. 806, unique variant 2

Le Père et les 3 Fils

State/Variant:
Only state, unique variant
Date:
2006
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "The Father and the 3 Sons"
Themes:
Animals & Insects, Motherhood & Family
Techniques:
Etching
Description:
Soft ground etching, with ink, gouache, and pencil additions
Support:
Paper
Dimensions:
plate: 55 11/16 × 12 3/8" (141.5 × 31.4 cm); sheet: 58 1/2 × 17 3/4" (148.6 × 45.1 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right to right lower margin, pencil.
Publisher:
Osiris, New York
Printer:
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
Edition:
Unique
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
This is one of 3 unique variants of this plate. They all include extensive hand additions and are listed below.

Before settling on the 3 unique variants, Bourgeois first added hand additions to 7 impressions of the plate and called them "studies." (Usually in this catalogue, the term "study" describes photocopies and tracings that were used in the process of developing a composition.) She then combined 3 of these studies into a unique variant triptych titled “Le Père et les 3 Fils.” She issued another study as a unique variant single panel work. The three remaining studies are no longer extant, according to the Louise Bourgeois Studio.

She worked again with this plate to make this multi-panel work, titled "Afraid." This work was made from impressions of the plate that were separate from the initial 7 studies described above.

The 3 unique variants are listed below and can be seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram:

"Afraid"
“Le Père et les 3 Fils” (triptych incorporates studies 1, 4, and 7)
“Le Père et les 3 Fils” (study 5)

There are 2 known cancellation proofs. A cancellation proof is included in the Evolving Composition Diagram because there are no known impressions without hand additions. This composition was not issued as a published edition.
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 color of the hand additions and paper type could not be fully 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.

The verso of this impression could not be examined. Therefore, verso inscriptions are not recorded.

Le Père et les 3 Fils
2005-2007

States

Louise Bourgeois. Le Père et les 3 Fils. 2005
Le Père et les 3 Fils
Only state, cancellation proof
2005

Unique Variants

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Afraid. 2006
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Afraid
Only state, unique variant
2006
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Le Père et les 3 Fils. 2006
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Le Père et les 3 Fils
Only state, unique variant
2006
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Le Père et les 3 Fils. 2007
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Le Père et les 3 Fils
Only state, unique variant
2007