plate: 6 7/8 × 4 7/8" (17.5 × 12.4 cm); sheet: 9 15/16 x 6 7/16" (25 x 16.4 cm)
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right margin, pencil.
Verso: "to appear in May 1947- / he dissapeared [sic] into silence / maquette of / 7 print [crossed out] engravings by L.B. Louise [erased] / text of LT [crossed out] with an introduction by- / suddenly he dissapeared [sic] /into silence. / He dissapeared [sic] / into a complete / silence- / ask Lyonel (abels) / into silence- / and He dissapeared [sic] into / silence- / he dissapeared [sic] into/ sudden silence- / that is what she should do/ maisons sans yeux / 7 house of eyes [with 2 sketches of a closed and open eye]" pencil, artist's hand.
Changes from state III, in aquatint: large crescent shape and foreground filled in.
"This is forbidding because of the guards... there is no trespassing." Bourgeois remembered, as a child, that a neighbor's house had two forbidding statues at the entrance. "It has to do with a moral, puritanical attitude."
Bourgeois very much liked the perspective of this composition, which, depending on the reading of the central vertical form, can be seen as depicting a house on a tall pole or a house at the end of a long path. "It is as if you bring the past up to the immediacy of the present... or, you can push it back." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 109.)
In the second half of the 1940s, Bourgeois spent time at Atelier 17, the print workshop of Stanley William Hayter. The workshop had transferred operations from Paris to New York during the war years. It is not known precisely which prints she made at the workshop since she also worked at home on a small press. The designation of “the artist at Atelier 17” as printer means that the impression was likely made at the workshop. The designation is based on dates, inscriptions, techniques favored at Atelier 17, and/or stylistic similarities to images in the illustrated book “He Disappeared into Complete Silence,” which the artist repeatedly cited as having been made at Atelier 17. It is also possible that Bourgeois worked on certain plates both at home and at the workshop, or pulled impressions at both places.
Given the inscription on the verso of this impression, it appears that Bourgeois considered this composition for "He Disappeared Into Complete Silents," but did not finally include it.
If you are interested in reproducing images from The Museum of Modern Art web site, please visit the Image Permissions page (www.moma.org/permissions). For additional information about using content from MoMA.org, please visit About this Site (www.moma.org/site).