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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 926/II

Untitled, plate 1 of 10, from the portfolio, Homely Girl, A Life

State/Variant:
State II of II
Date:
1992
Portfolio:
Homely Girl, A Life (View All)
Themes:
Nature
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint
Support:
Smooth, wove Somerset paper
Dimensions:
plate: 6 5/8 x 5" (16.8 x 12.7 cm); sheet: 20 1/2 x 15" (52 x 38.1 cm)
Signature:
"LB." lower right margin, pencil.
Publisher:
Peter Blum Edition, New York
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
44; plus 10 H.C. (numbered I/X- X/X); and an illustrated book version with a special edition of 100 and a trade edition of 1200
Impression:
"IV/X" lower left margin, pencil, unknown hand
Edition Information:
This portfolio contains all the compositions from volume 1 of the illustrated book version of "Homely Girl, A Life."

The sources for the illustrations in volume I of “Homely Girl” are drawings Bourgeois executed in 1991 in ballpoint pen. She reinterpreted these drawings in drypoint for the special edition, emphasizing the scratched quality of line that can be achieved with this technique. For the trade edition, she used photolithography to reproduce them (plate marks are faux). The sources for the illustrations in volume II are ophthalmological photographs of diseased eyes. Bourgeois reproduced them through photolithography.

The Arthur Miller text in volume I is repeated in volume II, but in volume II Bourgeois highlighted (in red) select passages referring to sight. The highlighted text appears in both the special edition and the trade edition of volume II.

The special edition of “Homely Girl” is quarter-bound in leather; the trade edition is entirely cloth bound. The trade edition is in MoMA’s Collection (Accession Numbers: 29.1993.A.x2 and 29.1993.B.x2) but it is not illustrated here.

The portfolio edition of “Homely Girl” includes the drypoint compositions from volume I; the compositions in volume II were not produced in a portfolio format.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state I, in drypoint: words "toi" (you) and "moi" (me) added inside the two leaves in lower center composition.
Background:
As explained in his published postscript to "Homely Girl, a Life," Peter Blum expressed to Bourgeois his wish to do a book at the time of their collaboration on the 1990 "Anatomy" portfolio (see Related Works in the Catalogue). For a long time, he had also been interested in publishing a book by American playwright Arthur Miller. While looking with Bourgeois at the book "Portraits," a collection of photographs by Miller's wife Inge Morath, which included a portrait of Bourgeois, Blum had the idea of bringing author and artist together. The publisher proposed a collaborative project, which appealed to both.

Miller visited Bourgeois's sculpture-filled Brooklyn studio and saw there, among many other works, several pieces in her series Cells, which concerns the senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Miller selected for the project an unpublished text whose subject is a romance between a girl and a blind man.
Artist’s Remarks:
"TOI and MOI ... a love affair. This beautiful thing is the consequence of the encounter of two people. One says to the other: 'Look what we can do together.'"

Looking at the trade edition, which reproduces drawings, and then the special edition with prints, Bourgeois said: "With the drawing, my pen never left the page ... it is a single line ... it is impetuous and direct. The print is totally different ... every petal is individually considered there. And there is also the extra dimension of the symbolic act of engraving." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 216.)
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 126
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
619.1993.1
This Work in Other Collections:
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Untitled, plate 1 of 10, from the illustrated book and portfolio, Homely Girl, A Life
1991-1992

Source
1991

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Blue ball point pen and ink on envelope drawing for print #1 for Homely Girl, A Life. 1991
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Blue ball point pen and ink on envelope drawing...
Ink on envelope
1991

States

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 1 of 10, from the portfolio, Homely Girl, A Life. 1991-1992
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION State I of II
1991-1992
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 1 of 10, from the illustrated book, Homely Girl, A Life, volume I. 1992
State II of II
1992
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 1 of 10, from the portfolio, Homely Girl, A Life. 1992
State II of II
1992

Illustrated Book
1992

Louise Bourgeois. Homely Girl, A Life, volumes I and II. 1992
Homely Girl, A Life, volumes I and II
1992
More About This Work

Portfolio
1992

Louise Bourgeois. Homely Girl, A Life. 1992
Homely Girl, A Life
1992
More About This Work