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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 875

Untitled, no. 30 of 69, from the illustrated book, Album

State/Variant:
Only state
Date:
1994
Illustrated Book:
Album (View All)
Author:
The artist
Themes:
Animals & Insects, Motherhood & Family
Techniques:
Lithography, Other
Description:
Photolithograph
Support:
Smooth paper, with vellum overlay
Dimensions:
vellum overlay: 8 1/4 × 5" (21 × 12.7 cm); page: 8 1/4 × 10 1/2" (21 × 26.6 cm)
Signature:
Not signed
Publisher:
Peter Blum Edition, New York
Printer:
Albani drukkers, The Hague, The Netherlands
Edition:
850
Impression:
Not numbered
Pagination:
Page 33 of 76.
Housing:
Cloth-covered hard binding, with brass binding screws. "LB" center cover and "Louise Bourgeois" center spine, embossed in black.
Background:
This 1994 autobiographical work, titled “Album,” is comprised of old family photographs along with texts by the artist. It is based on a slideshow-format film Bourgeois created in 1983 titled “Partial Recall.” This film was presented in the lobby of The Museum of Modern Art, New York in conjunction with the artist’s 1982–1983 retrospective there. Many of the images in that film appear in “Album,” and much of the book's text comes from the film's voice-over narration by the artist.

“Album” documents aspects of Bourgeois’s early life. The artist, born in 1911, had two siblings: an older sister called Henriette, and a younger brother, Pierre. Until she was six years old, the family lived in Choisy-le-Roi, France in a large home that accommodated the family’s tapestry restoration business, near the River Seine. When World War I broke out, her father enlisted. His wife visited him at various encampments with the young Louise in tow. After the war, the family moved to Antony on the banks of the Bièvre River. They chose their homes with proximity to rivers since the water was important to the process of tapestry restoration. In the early twenties, an English tutor named Sadie Gordon Richmond was hired for the children, but also became the father’s mistress. She stayed in the house for ten years, causing Bourgeois great distress and memories that lasted a lifetime.

At the time the film, "Partial Recall," was made, Bourgeois was also asked to create a page project for Artforum magazine (December 1982) and she based it on some of the same photographs and narration. The Artforum piece, titled “Child Abuse: A Project by Louise Bourgeois” is seen below in Related Works in the Catalogue.

Much later, in 2001, Bourgeois again used some of these photographic images for the fabric illustrated book, “The Trauma of Abandonment,” seen below in Related Work in the Catalogue.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
196.1997.30
This Work in Other Collections:
American Art and Portrait Gallery Library, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
The Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, Cambridge, MA
Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis

Untitled, no. 30 of 69, from the illustrated book, Album
1994

States

Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 30 of 69, from the illustrated book, Album. 1994
Only state
1994

Illustrated Book
1994

Louise Bourgeois,

Album,

New York, Peter Blum Edition, 1994

No. 30 of 69
This is a welcome relief! Because some-
times I can get very excited over the past.
I find this very embarrassing and then,
instead of turning against my irrepressible
self, you see, I turn against the poor
people that are no more. I turn against
my family. I say damn them. And this rat
— you see his queer little eyes there? — is a
welcome relief. He seems to me as if to
say, “I know what you mean, I have gone
through that myself.” You have a right to
be fed up and you have a right to be a rat
once in a while. You don’t have to be
good all the time!