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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 815

Pinus Sylvestris

State/Variant:
Only state
Date:
1938-1943
Themes:
Nature, Words
Techniques:
Lithography
Description:
Lithograph
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
composition: 4 1/8 x 5 11/16" (10.5 x 14.5 cm); sheet (folded card): 4 5/16 x 5 15/16" (11 x 15.1cm)
Signature:
"BOURGEOIS" lower right comp. (in matrix, obscured due to heavy inking).
Inscription:
"1938" upper right margin, pencil, artist's hand. Verso: "Greetings / Pinus Sylvestris" upper right sheet, pencil, artist's hand.
Publisher:
The artist
Edition:
c. 250 (according to the artist), of which there are 3 known impressions
Impression:
Not numbered
Background:
This composition was created as a holiday card. It was printed at a commercial printshop.

From 1938-1946, Bourgeois made her own printed holiday cards. In the late decades of her life, she again turned to prints as holiday gifts for a small circle of friends.
Artist’s Remarks:
"Bourgeois remembered scraping a blackened surface with a razor blade when she made this print. 'The corner of the razor blade is very neat and very strong; with it, you have perfect control.' Bourgeois often imposed control in her early compositions—and gained control of her subjects—by employing a grid structure. 'To make a grid is to turn an emotional problem into one that can be analyzed visibly, and thus rationally.' 'Pinus Sylvestris' is the scientific name for the tree most commonly used at Christmas, and for Bourgeois a gridded analysis of it was a satisfying way to respond visually to a tree that is, as she said, 'so very beautiful.'" (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 36.)
Curatorial Remarks:
Although impressions are dated 1938 and Bourgeois's print list (a numbered list compiled by the artist prior to 1970) gives the date as 1940, this print was most likely executed in 1943, as indicated in her daybook notation of December 23, 1943: "I get the Christmas card Pinus Sylvestris."

The inscription "1938" in the upper right margin is difficult to read because of the way the card is folded.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 2
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
234.1992
This Work in Other Collections:
Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA

Pinus Sylvestris
1938-1943

States

Published Louise Bourgeois. Pinus Sylvestris. 1938-1943
Only state
1938-1943
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Pinus Sylvestris. 1943
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Only state
1943