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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION

Cat. No. 96/IV

Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999

State/Variant:
State IV of VI
Date:
1999
Themes:
Faces & Portraits, Spirals
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint, with red ink additions
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 5 7/8 x 4 3/4" (14.9 x 12.1 cm); sheet: 9 9/16 x 8 1/4" (24.3 x 20.9 cm)
Signature:
"LB" lower right margin, red ink.
Inscription:
"To Debby / affectionately" lower middle margin, red ink, artist's hand.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state IV
Impression:
"HC" lower left margin, red ink, artist's hand.
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of state VI.

The 4 impressions of varying states labeled "HC" in red ink, in the artist's hand, are not conventional H.C. impressions, which would be of the final state.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state III in drypoint: eyelids further delineated.
Additions in red ink: arrows further delineated; reinforced overall.
Background:
The publisher, Les Éditions du Solstice, a book collector's society, had issued Bourgeois's illustrated book, "Ode à ma mère," in 1995. Four years later, Jean-Claude Meyer, President of the society approached her with a second collaboration, to provide the frontispiece and sole illustration for a volume documenting their publications from 1989 until 1999. The result was state VI of this drypoint referencing poet and artist, Henri Michaux, which Bourgeois provided as a benefit print for the publisher.

This volume gives a history of Les Éditions du Solstice. It was founded under French law in 1901 to promote "bibliophilism", or the love and collection of books. Most of its members had previously received honorary titles such as "Legion d'honneur," "Ordre National du merite," and "Croiz de la Valeur Militaire." The full membership meets annually. Under its charter, the society publishes deluxe limited editions of illustrated literary works, with a new volume coming out every year or few years. The maximum edition is 120, and copies are distributed to the membership to encourage discussion.

This volume gives a full listing of the association's current membership and also celebrates the four books published between 1989-1999: "Les Eaux Etroites" by Julien Gracq, with illustratrations by Matta; "La Nouvelle chute de l'Amerique" by Allen Ginsberg, with illustrations by Roy Lichtenstein; "Ode à ma mère" written and illustrated by Bourgeois; and "Sans Titre" by Han Magnus Enzensberger, with illustrations by Markus Lupertz.
Artist’s Remarks:
Inscribed on the recto of the source drawing: "Spinning Eyes of / Henri Michaux / Unblinking eyes / of the undefeated"; and on the verso: "What is the shape of a problem / unblinking eyes through a drop [illeg.]of history / gaze of De Lioze [illeg.]"
Other Remarks:
Bourgeois's inscription on the source drawing for this drypoint refers to Henri Michaux (1899-1984), a Belgian-born literary figure and artist, who later became a French citizen. According to Bourgeois's assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, she met Michaux in Paris. Having always admired his writing, she asked Michaux why he had turned to drawings, which she did not like as much. Michaux told her it was the influence of drugs.

Spiraling Eyes
1999-2000

Source
1999

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Spinning Eyes of Henri Michaux. 1999
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Spinning Eyes of Henri Michaux
Pencil on paper
1999

States

Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
State I of VI
1999
Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
State II of VI
1999
Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
State III of VI, variant
1999
Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
State III of VI, variant
1999
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION State IV of VI
1999
Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
State V of VI
1999
Published Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes, frontispiece, from the illustrated book, Les Éditions du Solstice: Annuaire de la Décennie, 1989-1999. 1999
State VI of VI
1999
Published Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes. 1999
State VI of VI
1999
Published Louise Bourgeois. Spiraling Eyes. 2000
State VI of VI
2000