The plate initially had painted letters, which Bourgeois punched out with a hammer and nails. The artist employed a similar technique in the print compositions “Tornado,” 1992, and “merci. mercy.,” 1991-1992, seen in Related Works in the Catalogue below.
Bourgeois printed impressions from both sides of the plate. The version 1 impressions were pulled from the front of the plate and the version 2 impression was pulled from the back of the plate.
This composition was initially considered as a benefit print for Documenta IX, 1992, but rejected by Bourgeois because of corrosion on the plate. "merci. mercy." was submitted instead.
"I did this for someone. I sent two pieces of metal... one was inscribed... one was empty... and I sent a hammer. It was a little push... an invitation to him... it was my way of saying 'we love you.'" (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 207.)
According to Jerry Gorovoy, the artist's assistant, Bourgeois found it very reassuring to declare her affection for her loved ones, and to receive their love in return. In addition to the prints and drawings that demonstrate this, the three untitled 1989 sculptures (seen below in Related Works in Other Mediums) also explore this idea, and show a rare use of text in the artist's sculpture.
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