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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 573/V

Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well

State/Variant:
State V of VIII
Date:
1995
Themes:
Faces & Portraits
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint, with pencil additions
Support:
Smooth, wove Somerset paper
Dimensions:
plate: 8 9/16 x 6 1/4" (21.7 x 15.8 cm); sheet: 15 x 10 3/16" (38 x 25.9 cm)
Signature:
Not signed
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state V
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of state VIII.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state IV, in drypoint: shading lines added throughout.
Artist’s Remarks:
About the source drawing for plate 2 of 9, Bourgeois said: "We lived in Easton, where there was no city water and we were totally dependent on the well. The water table was low in Easton, so the well was quite deep.
The guilt feeling and the severity that inhabited the house were expressed by, 'You better be good or I'll push you down the well.' You see, that was the ultimate punishment. Certainly, I didn't push anybody into the well, but look at these here, one and two...my sons Jean-Louis and Alain. I did something wrong and sure enough, they pushed me in. I'm not accusing them....
The figure is screaming at the bottom of the well.
We have tunnel vision and we have bottom-of-the-well vision. If you visualize yourself down there, the question is, how are you going to get out? This philosophy is an optimistic philosophy. By hook or by crook, you are going to get yourself out. And I always did. But how? By drawing." (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, p. 76.)

"When you are at the bottom of the well, you look around and you say, who is going to get me out? In this case, Jerry [Gorovoy, the artist's assistant,] comes and he presents a rope, and I hook myself on the rope and he pulls me out. You see I can conceive of a way of getting out of the well. I'm not drowning. I'm just waiting for somebody." Interview with Lawrence Rinder, 9 May 1995 (Quote cited in Morris, Frances. "Louise Bourgeois" London: Tate Modern, 2007, p. 150.)
Curatorial Remarks:
In 1941, Bourgeois and her family purchased a small country house in Easton, Connecticut, which remains in the family.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
560.1996
This Work in Other Collections:
Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich, Switzerland
National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, Canada
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
New York Public Library, NY

Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well
1995-1996

Source
sketchbook date: 1950s-1980s

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 29 of 34, from the sketchbook, Album à Dessin. sketchbook date: 1950s-1980s
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Untitled, no. 29 of 34, from the sketchbook,...
Ink on paper
sketchbook date: 1950s-1980s

States

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State I of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State II of VIII, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State II of VIII, variant
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State III of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State IV of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State V of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State VI of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State VII of VIII
1995
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1995
State VIII of VIII, variant
1995
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 9, from the portfolio, The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
State VIII of VIII
1996

Portfolio
1996

Louise Bourgeois. The View from the Bottom of the Well. 1996
The View from the Bottom of the Well
1996
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