7 known impressions of version 2, only state, outside the edition
Proof before the reprinting and editioning of version 2 in 1990.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1: composition enlarged and transferred to new matrix with added belly button, in photogravure.
The inscription on this impression refers to the feminist art group Heresies Collective. The Collective produced a thematic publication as well as sponsoring various exhibitions, performances, and festivals. The group was founded in 1975 and was active for over 15 years.
It is unclear why this particular impression includes the inscription "to Heresies." Earlier research about a submission to benefit Heresies could not be confirmed. Conversations with former Heresies members have not shed any light on the reason for the inscription, although Bourgeois was an active participant in feminist activities during this period.
This composition appeared first in an ink on linen work of 1946-47, and was then used for an exhibition brochure for "Louise Bourgeois: Paintings" on view at Norlyst Gallery, New York from 10/28-11/8/1947. The composition was also reproduced on the cover of Lucy Lippard, "From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art," (New York: Dutton, 1976); and for an exhibition poster for "‘Louise Bourgeois Sculpture/The Prints of Louise Bourgeois" at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, on view 10/15-12/31/1995.
"I consider this perfect... it brings the personal together with the environment... it is a symbiosis of one with the universe... it is a kind of acceptance." The figure "is serene... it doesn't mind." But Bourgeois added, "There is a sexual loneliness. She is dignified, but she is alone... she has no companion. The little hand is trying to call for help. She is not sexual at all. Her head does not know that she is naked. She has no hair or bosom... they are occupied by work." (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 148.)
Iris Editions was the imprint of Deli Sacilotto, a master printer who specialized in the photogravure technique. Bourgeois met Sacilotto through mutual friends and established a warm relationship with him. They worked together on projects in the early 1980s, and then again later, when Sacilotto joined Graphicstudio in Tampa, Florida and encouraged the artist to create the multiple, “Spider Home” (cat. no. 15).
Quinn, Bridget, with illustrations by Lisa Congdon. "Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in that order)." San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2017.
The essay on Bourgeois describes how Quinn encountered "Femme Maison" on the cover of Lucy Lippard's book "From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art". Quinn elaborates on this composition, as well as other key works from Bourgeois's ouevre.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 75
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Rowan University Art Gallery, Sylvia Sleigh Collection, Glassboro, NJ
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