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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 61.2a

Ode à l'Oubli, cover

Date:
2002
Illustrated Book:
Ode à l'Oubli (View All)
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "Ode to Forgetting"
Themes:
Fabric Works, Words
Techniques:
Lithography
Description:
Lithograph
Support:
Fabric
Dimensions:
cover: 11 7/16 × 12 13/16" (29 × 32.5 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" printed lower middle, inside back book cover, red lithograph.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
SOLO Impression, New York
Edition:
Unique
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
There is an editioned version of this unique fabric illustrated book. It was published in 2004 in an edition of 25 plus 7 A.P., 6 P.P.
Pagination:
68 unnumbered pages.
Background:
"Ode à l'Oubli" was Bourgeois's first book of fabric collages, and it is unique. The pages were made of linen hand towels from the artist’s wedding trousseau. These towels are embroidered with the monogram “LBG” for “Louise Bourgeois Goldwater.” (Bourgeois married the American art historian Robert Goldwater in 1938.) To assemble the book, Bourgeois worked with Mercedes Katz, a seamstress she had employed starting in 1999. The fabric collages on each page are made from fragments of her old clothing and household items. SOLO Impression printed the lithographed cover and the two text pages within the volume. In 2004, Bourgeois issued an editioned version of "Ode à l'Oubli," published by Peter Blum Edition.
Curatorial Remarks:
"ODE Â L'OUBLI" is also lithographed on a fabric sheet that is stitched to the spine.

In deciding the font size, layout, background, and sheet size for the cover of "Ode à l'Oubli," Bourgeois made trial versions. She also made trial versions for the text pages within the book.
Other Remarks:
Bourgeois's assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, remembers a circumflex accent was mistakenly printed on the "A" on the cover and spine of the unique 2002 version, and on the trials for the cover. He is not sure how Bourgeois missed the error. When the cover for the editioned version was made in 2004, it was decided that the title looked best printed with all capital letters, with no accent, and with no italics.
Bibliography:
Wye, Deborah. "Louise Bourgeois (American, born France 1911)." In Cornelia Butler and Alexandra Schwartz, eds., "Modern Women: Women Artists at The Museum of Modern Art." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2010, 274-277.

This article describes Bourgeois's relationship to fabric as a material for artworks, and the making of "Ode à l'Oubli."
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
540.2005.1
This Work in Other Collections:
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

Ode à l'Oubli, cover
2002-2004

First Version

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Ode â l'Oubli. 2002
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 1 of 2, only state, variant
2002
Louise Bourgeois. Ode â l'Oubli. 2002
Version 1 of 2, only state, variant
2002
Louise Bourgeois. Ode â l'Oubli. 2002
Version 1 of 2, only state, variant
2002

Second Version

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Ode â l'Oubli. 2002
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Version 2 of 2, only state
2002

Formats

Louise Bourgeois. Ode à l'Oubli, cover. 2002
2002
Published Louise Bourgeois. Ode à l'Oubli, cover. 2004
2004

Illustrated Book
2002

Louise Bourgeois. Ode à l'Oubli. 2002
Ode à l'Oubli
2002
More About This Work

Illustrated Book
2004

Louise Bourgeois. Ode à l'Oubli. 2004
Ode à l'Oubli
2004
More About This Work