State III: Changes from state II, in engraving: crosshatched floorlike area added to lower composition.
State IV (not available for illustration): Changes from state III, in engraving: upper triangle further delineated, shading added to hanging form second from left, and additional lines added to top edge of floor area.
For Bourgeois, this imagery recalled the house she lived in as a child in Antony. "The attic was very large because of the slope of the house. Antique chair frames were hung from the ceiling everywhere. My father collected them. He would take them down from the ceiling very delicately and examine them." Bourgeois talked about supporting sculptures and different ways of achieving that. If a sculpture is standing and there is "a fear of it falling," it could always be hung from the ceiling instead. "It is a form of reassurance." (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 126.)
An amendment has been made here to the cataloguing found in Wye and Smith, "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois," 1994, p. 126. At that time, cataloguers were unaware of an earlier state, which surfaced in 2012. With the discovery of state I, each successive state is later (state I is now state II, state II is now state III, etc.).
The sheet dimensions could not be documented because this impression is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person. The image and information published here is taken from Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 116. This image has been cropped and does not show the full sheet.
State IV is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person. The state changes and additions described here are taken from the 1994 catalogue '"The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." The impression catalogued in 1994 is printed on smooth, wove paper; signed "L. Bourgeois 49" lower right margin, pencil; and included the inscription: "Hangings."
In the second half of the 1940s, Bourgeois spent time at Atelier 17, the print workshop of Stanley William Hayter. The workshop had transferred operations from Paris to New York during the war years. It is not known precisely which prints she made at the workshop since she also worked at home on a small press. The designation of “the artist at Atelier 17” as printer means that the impression was likely made at the workshop. The designation is based on dates, inscriptions, techniques favored at Atelier 17, and/or stylistic similarities to images in the illustrated book “He Disappeared into Complete Silence,” which the artist repeatedly cited as having been made at Atelier 17. It is also possible that Bourgeois worked on certain plates both at home and at the workshop, or pulled impressions at both places.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 56
The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York Public Library
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