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Cat. No. 830

The Awakening

Only state
Abstraction, Nature
Soft ground etching, with selective wiping
Smooth, wove paper
plate: 60 5/16 × 27 7/8" (153.2 × 70.8 cm); sheet: 59 1/8 x 27 3/8" (150.2 x 69.5 cm) (plate dimensions reflect full plate size; this is a partial print)
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right comp., pencil.
Osiris, New York
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
"9/11" lower left comp., pencil, artist's hand.
Edition Information:
Within the edition, selective wiping varies significantly from impression to impression. (See two examples in the Evolving Composition Diagram below.) There is 1 known impression of the only state, outside the edition. It is inscribed "premierè épreuve" in the lower left composition by the artist, and signed "Louise Bourgeois" in the lower right composition, both in pencil. There are 2 known cancellation proofs, each with a large "X" drawn across the composition from each corner of the plate.

Outside the edition, there are 2 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:
"The Awakening"

See Related Works in the Catalogue:
Untitled, no. 2 of 4, from the series, "Differentiate"
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.

Osiris put together a grouping of Bourgeois's late, large-scale soft ground etchings under the title "Turning Inwards." Nine sets were announced. Each "Turning Inwards" set is unique, containing a different number of prints. Sets include editioned prints as well as early proofs. Some also have multiple impressions of the same composition, due to differences in inking and wiping.

The "Turning Inwards" sets are not considered formal series that must be shown in their entirety; the prints in each set can be displayed separately.

Set #1 of 9 contains 67 prints and is in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Set #2 contains 43 prints and is in the collection of the Tate Modern. Set #3 contains 38 prints. Set #4 contains 39 prints. The contents of sets #5-9 were not known by MoMA cataloguers, as of 2018.

The title "Turning Inwards" is given to the overall grouping and is also the title of one of the individual compositions within it. Titles that may appear in the various "Turning Inwards" sets are as follows:

1. À Baudelaire
2. Abandoned
3. Accumulations
4. Are You in Orbit? (#1)
5. Are You in Orbit? (#2)
6. The Awakening
7. The Chain of Events
8. The Fall
9. La Famille
10. Les Fleurs
11. I See You!!!
12. Incognito
13. Just Like Me
14. Knots
15. Leaves
16. Let My Children Come
17. Look Up!
18. Losing It
19. Love and Kisses
20. La Maladie de l'Amour
21. My Inner Life
22. My Secret Life
23. The Nest
24. Opening Up
25. The Pacifiers
26. Paddle Woman
27. Passages
28. Pendule
29. The Prey of an Anxiety
30. Sangsue
31. The Smell of Eucalyptus (#1)
32. The Smell of Eucalyptus (#2)
33. The Stretch
34. Swaying
35. Swelling
36. Turning Inwards
37. The Twist
38. The Unfolding
39. Up and Up

This impression is in MoMA's set #1 of 9.
Curatorial Remarks:
This impression was trimmed within the plate mark. The plate dimensions are from the other impression in MoMA's Collection.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Tate Modern, London

The Awakening


Published Louise Bourgeois. The Awakening. 2007
Only state
Published Louise Bourgeois. The Awakening. 2007
Only state

Unique Variants

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Awakening. 2007
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Only state, unique variant