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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 999.2/II

Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition

State/Variant:
Version 2 of 3, state II of II
Date:
2001-2002
Themes:
Architecture, Spiders
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint, with black ink additions
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 6 15/16 x 5 3/8" (17.7 x 13.7 cm); sheet: 12 x 9 3/8" (30.5 x 23.8 cm)
Signature:
"LB" lower right margin, black ink.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of version 2, state II
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of version 3, state IV.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1: composition transferred to new plate, in drypoint; figure and shading of spider eliminated; image inverted.
Changes from version 2, state I, in drypoint: small spider burnished away; large spider shaded.
Additions in black ink: windows shaded, anticipating version 3, state I; small spider re-drawn as it was in version 1; corner shaded; reinforced overall.
Background:
Bourgeois issued the first edition of “He Disappeared into Complete Silence” in 1947 (see cat. no. 1228). At that time, while actively working in printmaking at the Atelier 17 workshop, she decided to create an illustrated book edition with hopes of making her work more widely known. As it turned out, the book was not a success and Bourgeois never completed the announced edition of 54 examples. It frustrated her that she had never finished the project and, much later, in the early 1980s, she began efforts to reissue the book.

Bourgeois could not locate the printing plates for the nine illustrations, so she set about producing new ones. She worked first, in 1984, with printer Deli Sacilotto, of Iris Editions, New York, to create photogravures using 1947 impressions of Plates 1, 3, and the “Alternative Plate.” Then, in 1990, she created engraved versions of Plates 2 and 6 with the assistance of Christian Guérin of Gravure, New York. First, though, in order to determine whether Guérin’s engraving was suitable, she asked him to engrave two similar compositions. (See “Atlantic Avenue: Transparent Houses” [cat. nos. 1054.1, .2, .3].)

In 1993, Bourgeois finally turned the project over to printer Felix Harlan of Harlan & Weaver, New York, with whom she had begun to work on a regular basis. Harlan would ultimately serve as both printer and coordinator of the second edition. He started out by making reprints of some of the 1983 photogravures created with Sacilotto, and the 1990 engravings created with Guérin. In addition, since by then Bourgeois had located three of the original printing plates from the 1940s (two versions of Plate 3 and one version of Plate 4), Harlan made reprints from those, but they were too distressed for use in a future edition. He also attempted to remake Plates 5, 8, and 9 in drypoint and/or etching. Finally, Bourgeois decided to work with photogravure as the starting-off point for all the compositions in the book, in order to keep the plates as close as possible to those of the 1947 edition. In 1995, new photogravure plates were made by Renaissance Press from photographs of the first edition in the New York Public Library (cat. no. 1228, Example 12). Working with Harlan, Bourgeois ultimately re-worked these photogravure plates with engraving, also adding aquatint, drypoint, scorper and watercolor additions in some instances.

The 1947 first edition of “He Disappeared into Complete Silence” includes “vintage” examples issued in 1947 or thereabouts, as well as “assembled” examples that Bourgeois compiled in the 1980s from prints and texts that remained in her possession. Some of the “assembled” examples, including the one in the New York Public Library, have ten plates rather than the standard nine plates. The tenth plate is a composition called “Alternative Plate” for cataloguing purposes. The second edition includes the “Alternative Plate,” as well as this entirely new eleventh plate titled, “Spider.”

Bourgeois worked intermittently on this project for over a decade, with the second edition appearing in 2005 as a benefit publication for the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In addition to eleven plates, the book includes text pages from 1947 that had remained with Bourgeois, as well as a new table of contents, foreword, and colophon. The housing was constructed to match that of the 1947 first edition.
Artist’s Remarks:
Inscribed on the recto of the source drawing: "l'indispensable"; and on the verso: "I want to eat, / sleep, argue, hurt, destroy, why do you - my reasons belong exclusively to me"
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
1487.2008

Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second...
2000-2002, published 2005

Source
1994

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Araignée (Spider). 1994
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Araignée (Spider)
Ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper
1994

Studies

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled (Study for Spider). c. 2000
Study
c. 2000

First Version

Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state I of VI
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state II of VI
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state III of VI
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state IV of VI
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state V of VI
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state VI of VI, variant
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001
Version 1 of 3, state VI of VI, variant
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 1 of 3, state VI of VI, variant
2001-2002

Second Version

Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 2 of 3, state I of II
2001-2002
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 2 of 3, state II of II
2001-2002

Third Version

Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 3 of 3, state I of IV, variant
2001-2002
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 3 of 3, state I of IV, variant
2001-2002
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 3 of 3, state II of IV
2001-2002
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 3 of 3, state III of IV
2001-2002
Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2001-2002
Version 3 of 3, state IV of IV, variant
2001-2002
Published Louise Bourgeois. Spider, plate 11 of 11, from the illustrated book, He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2005
Version 3 of 3, state IV of IV
2005

Illustrated Book
2005

Louise Bourgeois. He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second edition. 2005
He Disappeared into Complete Silence, second...
2005
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