Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 680/III

Tempête du Vent

State III of III
c. 1948
Alternate Title:
Flottant (Floating)
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "Tornado"
Abstraction, Architecture, Nature
Smooth, wove paper
plate: 6 7/8 × 4 15/16" (17.5 × 12.6 cm); sheet: 9 13/16 × 6 9/16" (25 × 16.7 cm)
"L. Bourgeois" lower right margin, pencil.
Verso: "tempête / de / vent / 5 x 7 / flottant 4 / 11 [circled]" center sheet, pencil, artist's hand.
The artist at Atelier 17, New York
1 known impression of state III
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Not issued as a published edition at any state.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state II, by burnishing: two vertical lines at lower center beneath oval form removed.
Changes from state II, in engraving: additional shading added to rightmost vertical form and sweeping rightmost form in upper right.
Artist’s Remarks:
"How do you survive... how do you keep your balance in a hurricane?" This image is "an exorcism of the fear of losing balance, of being blown away and demolished." It reminded Bourgeois of a quote about an oak and a reed ("le chêne et le roseau"): something about "a man being like a 'roseau' that thinks—anything can blow it; it leans, but it won't break."

Upon noticing that the bottom segment of the lairlike form near the center has been burnished away in a later state, she said: "It is taken away so it will swing... it is a way to get through turmoil and still stay in one piece. Even in a hurricane, if you have the right attitude you will recover." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 108.)
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
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 45
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:

Tempête du Vent
c. 1948


Louise Bourgeois. Tempête du Vent. c. 1948
State I of III
c. 1948
Louise Bourgeois. Tempête du Vent. c. 1948
State II of III
c. 1948
Louise Bourgeois. Tempête du Vent. c. 1948
State III of III
c. 1948