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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. 817, unique variant 1, in 835

Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension

State/Variant:
Only state, unique variant
Date:
2007
Series:
Extreme Tension (View All)
Alternate Title:
The God of Fertility
Themes:
Abstraction
Techniques:
Etching
Description:
panel (a): Soft ground etching, with ink and gouache additions
panel (b): Pencil
panel (c): Soft ground etching, with ink and gouache additions
Support:
Paper (3 attached sheets)
Dimensions:
plate (a and c) (each): 59 5/8 × 14 5/16" (151.4 × 36.4 cm); sheet (overall): 58 1/4 × 59" (147.9 × 149.8 cm) (dimensions reflect full plate size; these are both partial prints)
Signature:
panel (c): "LB" lower right comp., pencil.
Publisher:
Osiris, New York
Printer:
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
Edition:
Unique
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
This is one of 4 unique variants that incorporate this plate, printed alone or in combination with another plate in a multi-panel work. They all include hand additions. 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:
Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the series, "Extreme Tension"
"The God of Fertility"
Untitled, no. 2 of 3, from the series, "The Voice Says Yes"

See Related Works in the Catalogue:
Untitled, no. 1 of 4, from the series, "Start Something!!"

This plate was not issued as a published edition. There are 3 known variant impressions of the only state, seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram below. There are 2 known cancellation proofs, each with a large "X" drawn across the composition from each corner of the plate.
State Changes and Additions:
Matrices:
panel (a): For this panel, the plate is in the reverse orientation of the impressions of the only state in MoMA's Collection.

panel (c): For this panel, the plate is in the same orientation as the impressions of the only state in MoMA's Collection.
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.
Installation Remarks:
This composition is one of 11 that constitute a single work of art. All of these compositions are to be exhibited together and in the indicated sequence.
Curatorial Remarks:
The color of the hand additions and paper type 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 an impression in MoMA's Collection. The overall sheet dimensions were provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.
Public Collection:
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou

The God of Fertility
2007-2009

States

Louise Bourgeois. The God of Fertility. 2007
The God of Fertility
Only state, variant
2007
Louise Bourgeois. The God of Fertility. 2007
The God of Fertility
Only state, variant
2007
Louise Bourgeois. The God of Fertility. 2007
The God of Fertility
Only state, variant
2007

Unique Variants

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension
Only state, unique variant
2007
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The God of Fertility. 2007
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION The God of Fertility
Only state, unique variant
2007
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 2 of 3, from the series, The Voice Says Yes. 2009
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled, no. 2 of 3, from the series, The Voice Says Yes
Only state, unique variant
2009

Series
2007

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Extreme Tension. 2007
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Extreme Tension
2007
More About This Work

Series
2009

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Voice Says Yes. 2009
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION The Voice Says Yes
2009
More About This Work

Louise Bourgeois,

Extreme Tension,

New York, Osiris, 2007

The fragments of text inscribed within this series originated as parts of a longer text written by the artist c. 1959. Those fragments are recorded below by panel. Following the fragments is the original text.

No. 1:
Extreme Tension

No. 2:
My scalp forehead ears
The base of the skull

No. 3:
Back of the neck
The back between the shoulder blades
The base of the ribs
Solar plexus

No. 4:
The stomach
The esophagus
The throat

No. 5:
The intestines
The rectum

No. 6:
The arms forearms hands fingers

No. 7:
The legs thighs ankles toes
The pelvis bones
The joints

No. 8:
The pains and cramps

No. 9:
The breathing
The palpitations
The hot flashes

No. 10:
The perspiration
extreme extreme tension

No. 11:
The smell of the hunted animal

Original Text:
scalp
the forehead
the ears
the base of the skull
the back of the neck
the back between the shoulder blades
the base of the ribs --
the solar plexus --
the stomach the esophagus the throat --
the intestines -- the anus
the pelvis bones the joints
the legs thighs ankle toes
the arms forearms and hands
the breathing the tr [sic]
the palpitations
the hot flashes
the pains -- the cramps --
the sweaty smell of the stalked
animal extreme tension skunk very
little is known as to the when
chow, chow mein one day, localize
mum

Louise Bourgeois, c. 1959. Loose sheet: 10 x 8" (25.4 x 20.3 cm). LB-0768; © The Easton Foundation.