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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 598.3

Whitney Murders

State/Variant:
Version 3 of 3, only state
Date:
1978
Themes:
Words
Techniques:
Other
Description:
Rubbing and stencil
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
sheet: 25 × 33 15/16" (63.5 × 86.2 cm)
Signature:
Not signed
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
The artist
Edition:
1 known impression of version 3
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Not issued as a published edition at any state.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 2: composition transferred to a new matrix, in stencil.
New matrix used for rubbing.
Artist’s Remarks:
"When this was done, it was a real exorcism... I didn't hold a grudge. There had been a sharp disappointment." Bourgeois continued, "I think it was that I was not included in a show... I was refused."
Showing some lead sheets like those she used for the matrices of these prints, she remarked, "I love this material... lead... I cut out the shape. I would call the metal letters branding... I used a mallet to bang them. I used it because I wanted to emphasize it. There is branding, rubbing, and stencil here. This is experimental." (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 144.)

"The impetus and the violence came from the fact that I was put in a situation of rivalry with a lot of my colleagues. [...] 'Whitney Murders' meant I resented so much the whole thing, because I was not in. You see? That I was ready to murder everybody, right?" (Quote cited in Bourgeois, Louise and Lawrence Rinder. "Louise Bourgeois Drawings and Observations." Berkeley: University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive University of California, Berkeley; Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1995, pp. 316-317.)
Curatorial Remarks:
In Wye and Smith, "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois," 1994, p. 144-147, techniques were catalogued as follows: Versions 1 and 2: lead rubbing; version 3: stencil and rubbing. Actually, the artist's inscription on an impression of version 1 clarifies that she was referring to the method of relief printing in which a spoon is used to apply pressure to the verso of the paper sitting on top of the plate, thus transferring the image without the use of a printing press. This is the technique that was used in the printing of version 1 and 2. In contrast, version 3 includes rubbing (frottage) in the traditional sense.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 72.4
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
459.1993

Whitney Murders
1978

First Version

Louise Bourgeois. Whitney Murders. 1978
Version 1 of 3, only state, variant
1978
Louise Bourgeois. Whitney Murders. 1978
Version 1 of 3, only state, variant
1978
Louise Bourgeois. Whitney Murders. 1978
Version 1 of 3, only state, variant
1978
Louise Bourgeois. Whitney Murders. 1978
Version 1 of 3, only state, variant
1978

Matrix (Second Version)

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled (Lead Plate for Whitney Murders). 1978
Version 2 of 3, matrix
1978

Second Version

Louise Bourgeois. Whitney Murders. 1978
Version 2 of 3, only state
1978

Third Version

Louise Bourgeois. Whitney Murders. 1978
Version 3 of 3, only state
1978