44; plus 10 A.P., 6 P.P., 2 SOLO Press Impressions, 2 for Peter Blum, 1 B.A.T
"III/X" left lower margin, pencil, unknown hand.
The entire edition size was not listed on the publisher's colophon or in the cataloguing of this portfolio in Wye and Smith, "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois," 1994, p. 166. The full edition seen here was confirmed by Harlan & Weaver, New York.
The 10 A.P. impressions are numbered in Roman numerals. The 6 P.P. impressions are numbered in Arabic numerals, as is the single B.A.T. impression. The 2 SOLO Press Impressions are inscribed "SPI 1" and "SPI 2." The inscriptions and numbering on the 2 impressions for Peter Blum are unknown.
There is 1 known impression of the only state, outside the edition.
In 1988 Peter Blum, as a representative of "Parkett" magazine, discussed doing a multiple with Bourgeois. He also explored with her the idea of doing a print project with Peter Blum Edition. When they began to do prints together in 1989, Blum worked with Judith Solodkin, of SOLO Impression, as supervisor of printing, since Solodkin already had a friendly relationship with Bourgeois. Since SOLO Impression did not focus on intaglio printing, Solodkin made arrangements with Harlan & Weaver. Occasionally, Bourgeois went to the SOLO Impression workshop to inspect proofs brought over from Harlan & Weaver. Initially, she had no particular project in mind and began working in drypoint directly on copper plates using a variety of images.
The title was selected after the theme of anatomy became evident in a number of images the artist created. The published portfolio has no table for plates; nor does it identify the plates by number or title. During preparations for the 1994 catalogue raisonné, however, Bourgeois arranged the plates in the order she preferred, with imagery proceeding generally from head to foot. She also assigned titles at that time.
"This is a self-portrait. The person looks around... pivoting constantly... deciding what to do. It could be called 'Early Morning.' She asks, Where am I today? What am I going to be interested in? Where will I be on the compass? There is always indecision... a finding of focus. This is a luxury... it implies a freedom of choice... a lack of constraint, which is not pleasurable because there is a certain questioning anxiety attached to it. But it is positive." This image almost seems as if it were turning in space, and Bourgeois pointed out that it relates to the sculpture "Spiral Woman" (1984), which hands from a string and is seen in Related Works in Other Mediums below. "This can be a sense of freedom, or it can be disorientation. But in this case, the profiles are friendly, so this is something positive. It is the multiplication of something positive."
"Sometimes people in the diary [her daybook] set the day. You have to orient yourself to deal with them. There is energy that is asked from you... even when it is pleasurable, it is also tense. It can be tiring." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 167)
The prints in this portfolio can be shown as a group or individually. There is no required sequence.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 97
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Centro Cultural / Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City Des Moines Art Center, Iowa The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Philadelphia Museum of Art Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
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