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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 558/IV

L'Allée Montante

State/Variant:
State IV of V
Date:
c. 1947
Alternate Title:
Fontainebleau
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "The Uphill Path"
Themes:
Architecture
Techniques:
Aquatint, Engraving, Etching
Description:
Soft ground etching, engraving, and aquatint
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
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)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower right margin, pencil.
Inscription:
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.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
The artist at Atelier 17, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state IV
Impression:
Not numbered
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state III, in aquatint: large crescent shape and foreground filled in.
Artist’s Remarks:
"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.)
Curatorial Remarks:
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.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 46
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
161.1990.4

L'Allée Montante
c. 1947

Source
1947

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Fontainebleau. 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Fontainebleau
Pencil on graph paper
1947

Source
1947

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled. 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled
Pencil on paper
1947

Studies

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled (Study for L'Allée Montante). c. 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION c. 1947

States

Louise Bourgeois. L'Allée Montante. c. 1947
State I of V
c. 1947
Louise Bourgeois. L'Allée Montante. c. 1947
State II of V
c. 1947
Louise Bourgeois. L'Allée Montante. c. 1947
State III of V
c. 1947
Louise Bourgeois. L'Allée Montante. c. 1947
State IV of V
c. 1947
Louise Bourgeois. L'Allée Montante. c. 1947
State V of V
c. 1947