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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. 1014.2 in 981A

The Sky's the Limit, plate 9 of 18, from the illustrated book, One's Sleep (1)

State/Variant:
Version 2 of 2, only state
Date:
2003
Illustrated Book:
One's Sleep (1) (View All)
Themes:
Architecture
Techniques:
Etching
Description:
Etching, with hand additions
Support:
Handmade Dieu Donné paper
Dimensions:
plate: 35 9/16 × 3 13/16" (90.3 × 9.7 cm); page (each): 38 1/2 × 28 5/8" (97.8 × 72.7 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower center sheet, page 42, pencil.
Publisher:
Osiris, New York
Printer:
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
Edition:
12 (see Edition Information); plus an edition of 12 individual impressions without hand additions and 1 P.P., and an edition of 20 individual impressions with hand additions
Impression:
"1/10" lower center p. 42, pencil, artist's hand (artist's numbering refers to bound books as noted on the colophon).
Edition Information:
Documentation was available from the Louise Bourgeois Studio for 2 bound examples of “One’s Sleep”: numbers 1 and 3. No documentation is available for the other bound or unbound examples, as of 2016 cataloguing.

The colophons found in books 1 and 3 differ with regard to Edition and Publisher.
Book 1:
Edition: “Ten bound books / Two unbound folio sets”
Publisher: “Designed and published by Benjamin Shiff”

Book 3:
Edition: “Nine bound books / Three unbound folio sets”
(Publisher’s notes, not included on the colophon, numbers the books 1-9 and I-III)
Publisher: “Published by Osiris”

The pagination in books 1 and 3 differ in that book 1 includes an additional blank spread before pp. 9-10 (with plates 1 and 2). Otherwise, the plates used and the order in which they appear is consistent in each. (See individual books)

Hand additions to the plates in books 1 and 3 vary considerably.

In the edition of 20 individual impressions with hand additions, each is designated by artist as a “study". (Usually in this catalogue, the term “study” describes photocopies and tracings that were used in the process of developing a composition.) Twelve of the 20 studies are illustrated in the Evolving Composition Diagram.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1: composition mirrored in transfer to new plate in etching; tower greatly elongated.
Pagination:
Pages 23 and 24 of 43.
Printer of Text:
Wild Carrot Letterpress, Hadley, MA
Background:
Version 1 of this composition was initially developed in 1989 in conjunction with Benjamin Shiff, director of Osiris, as a preliminary trial for the book project "the puritan" (see below in Related Works in the Catalogue) although it did not ultimately appear in that book. Bourgeois and Shiff returned to the composition in 2003, creating a second version to include in this book and issue in separate editions.
Artist’s Remarks:
"This is a warning against ambition. You build something like this, but there is no door. You come from down there... and look at your dream. The ambition is amazing."

Bourgeois talked generally about the tall tower: "It is transparent... it shows everything. Then there are the blues.... But it is used to hiding things, also... the process of hiding and of wanting to show complement each other. The glass tower is the demon of ambition. But that height is not reality... if you live at the level of that tower, life has passed you by... you are lost in a dream. You have to love your reality level... you have to love your everyday miserable trivial pursuit. The fun has to be in the running... you run all your life. You must not betray the present just becuase it is unbearable. A sick dog is better than no dog. It is bad, but it could be worse. If you live with this big dream, you will be destroyed... it is not reality." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 156.)
Curatorial Remarks:
The plate dimensions 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 published hand colored impression in MoMA’s Collection. The sheet dimensions was provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.

The Sky's the Limit
1989-2003

First Version

Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. c. 1989
Version 1 of 2, only state
c. 1989

Second Version

Published Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit. 1989-2003
Version 2 of 2, only state
1989-2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit, plate 9 of 18, from the illustrated book, One's Sleep (1). 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
2003
Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Sky's the Limit, plate 9 of 18, from the illustrated book, One's Sleep (3). 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
2003

Illustrated Book
2003

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. One's Sleep. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION One's Sleep
2003
More About This Work

Louise Bourgeois,

One's Sleep,

2003

Bourgeois's entire printed text for this volume appears on the pages cited below. The text is consistent throughout the documented books, although the page numbers vary slightly.

Cover:
One's Sleep [artist’s hand]

Text 1:
LOUISE BOURGEOIS

Text 2:
one's sleep

Text 3 (with plate 1):
The blue fear.

Text 4 (with plate 2):
The pink fear.

Text 5:
I need sleep.

Text 6 (with plate 3):
The comfort object, always present,

Text 7 (with plate 4):
the color blue,
the child.
the circling of children.

Text 8 (with plate 5):
I need sleep.

Text 9 (with plate 6):
To listen to the breathing, to my stomach,
to my intestines. I want to listen to them,
to expose them, to think about them,
to welcome them, to wait for them,
to take care of them, like a good rested mother.

Text 10 (with plate 7 and 8):
Sleep to reach peace, the restoration of silence and of peace.
The defenses are worthless, they do not exist. Kindliness,
healthy breathing, forgetting and forgiving, to let go.

Text 11:
Leniency and charity are necessary for the arrival of sleep.
I want to give, to exude, to give to give, to exude.

Text 12 (with plate 9):
My sleep is disturbed. The house of fear. Apprehension.
I fear the future, but I am also afraid of the past.
Yes even the past, but also the present.
I am afraid of others, but mostly of myself.

Text 13 (with plate 10):
The fear to waste one's time,
the fear to waste one's luck,
the fear of the past;
nostalgia.

The fear of the present,
the fear to love,
the fear of the future;
apprehension.

Text 14 (with plate 11):
The ransom, the cost, the effect of fear on others.
The fear that does not know itself.
Unaware and aware.

Text 15 (with plate 12 and 13):
The underground life of fear, what it becomes.

Text 16 (with plate 14):
The fear and the sugar, the adrenaline.
To have the energy and persistence to replace fear by trust.

Text 17 (with plate 15):
I'm going to wait until my breathing goes down and gets regularized, to yawn,

Text 18 (with plate 16):
to do one's nails, to comb the hair, to mend, to draw, to write one's journal.

Text 19 (with plate 17):
One's sleep.

Text 20:
To lose one's way,
to lose one's friend,
to lose one's breath.

Text 21:
To love.

Text 22 (with plate 18):
Leave the house of fear, the window is open.