85; plus 20 A.P., 5 H.C., and a portfolio version with an edition of 40
"EA III" lower center colophon, pencil, unknown hand.
The illustrated books numbered 1/25-25/25 in the edition of 85 are accompanied by a portfolio of 7 prints (the 5 compositions represented in the book and 2 additional compositions). The remaining 60 illustrated books in the edition are numbered 26/85-85/85 and are not accompanied by portfolios. The A.P. illustrated books (A.P. I-X of XX) and the H.C. illustrated books (H.C. 1-5) are accompanied by the portfolio of 7 prints. In all, there are 40 illustrated books accompanied by portfolios.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state IX, in aquatint: tone lightened.
Plate: page 3 of folio 22.
Illustrated Book: 96 unnumbered pages in 24 folios (sheets folded once and comprising 4 pages). Folios numbered 2-24 (first folio unnumbered). Plates interspersed.
Printer of Text:
SAIG, L'Haÿ-les-Roses, France
Unbound. Publisher's clamshell box: red fabric with yellow embroidery.
“Metamorfosis” is a collaboration initiated by Maria Fluxà, a Spanish gallery owner and collector. Fluxà first encountered Bourgeois’s work at the 1982 MoMA retrospective and felt a particular emotional connection to the “Femme Maison.” She then began enthusiastically collecting Bourgeois’s work, which she displayed in her gallery, Lluc Fluxà, in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Taking inspiration from Bourgeois's themes of memory, identity, and trauma, Fluxà also staged a performance at her gallery titled “Götterdämmerung” that dealt with her own upbringing.
In 1993, Fluxà met Bourgeois at the MoMA opening of a Joan Miró exhibition, introducing herself as an admirer and collector. She later visited the artist, which led to discussions about a possible collaboration between the two.
Bourgeois had a sympathetic response to Fluxà’s difficult relationship with her father, a problem she shared. After meeting over the next several years, she agreed to participate in a collaborative work that became the illustrated book entitled, "Metamorfosis." Here, Fluxà creates a fusion of words and imagery that conflates her own identity with that of the artist. Bourgeois allowed images of her work to contribute to this fusion, and also created five prints especially for the volume. The book was published by Galerie Lelong, Paris, in 1999. For a deluxe edition, the volume was accompanied by a portfolio with two additional prints, making a total of seven compositions created by Bourgeois in conjunction with this project.
In 2005, Fluxà and Dolors Caballero organized the exhibition and catalogue, "Louise Bourgeois: Repairs in the sky" at the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, in Mallorca. In 2008, Fluxà and Caballero also organized "La Sage Femme: Louise Bourgeois," an exhibition and catalogue of Fluxà's collection of Bourgeois works, at Sala Espacio AV, in Murcia (Spain).
The prints in this illustrated book and the portfolio version can be shown as a group or individually.
Bourgeois worked with the printer Harlan & Weaver, New York, to develop the compositions in "Metamorfosis." The plates were then turned over to the printer Atelier Tanguy Garric, Paris, for editioning and publication by Galerie Lelong, Paris.
Bourgeois made several studies to aid in the development of this composition. Over the course of three years, she photocopied various states as the plate evolved, as seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram below.
According to Felix Harlan, of Harlan & Weaver, Bourgeois decided to lighten the background aquatint of this composition before undertaking the final editioning. When Atelier Tanguy Garric lightened the background, the aquatint forming a "transparent" blanket over the figures, introduced in state VII, was also lightened. As a result, there is no visible "transparent" blanket in the published state X.
The composition "Eight in Bed," seen in Related Works in the Catalogue, has a close relationship to this Untitled composition. In fact, it appears that photocopy studies of Untitled, plate 5 were used to create "Eight in Bed." The two compositions could have been catalogued as Versions in one Evolving Composition Diagram. They were catalogued separately because Untitled, plate 5, is from an illustrated book, making it difficult to present the two compositions as one.
According to Bourgeois's assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, when Bourgeois was a child, she and her siblings, and the two cousins who lived with the family, would join her parents in bed on Sunday mornings.
Gorovoy also notes that the beds seen throughout "Metamorfosis" stem not only from their symoblic resonance for Bourgeois but also from her interest in their geometric and architectural forms. The bed motif is found in Bourgeois's drawings, sculptures, and installations, as well as in her prints (see Related Works in Other Mediums).
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