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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 531/I

Ex Libris (for Paulo Herkenhoff)

State/Variant:
State I of III
Date:
2001
Themes:
Objects, Words
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint, with red ink and pencil additions
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 5 1/8 x 6 1/8" (13 x 15.5 cm); sheet: 10 1/4 x 10 3/16" (26 x 25.8 cm)
Signature:
"LB" right lower margin, red ink.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state I
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of state III.
Background:
"Ex libris" is Latin for "from the books." The phrase is commonly found on bookplates, the decorative labels affixed to the front or back cover of books to indicate ownership. The text, "Si, tenté du demon tu dérobes ce livre, saches que tout frippon est indigne de vivre" is also known from bookplates, and can be translated as "If, tempted by the devil you steal this book, know that any rogue is unworthy of living."

Bourgeois made this print as a bookplate for Paulo Herkenhoff, the Brazilian curator and critic with whom she had a longstanding friendship and professional relationship with the artist.

The bookplate depicts "Janus," a 1968 hanging sculpture the artist made in both bronze and porcelain (see bronze in Related Works in Other Mediums below). "Janus" is one of five different sculptures by the artist named after the Roman divinity. While Herkenhoff was adjunct curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, he included "Janus Fleuri" in the 2002 exhibition "Tempo," and wrote about the "Janus" works in the exhibition catalogue.
Curatorial Remarks:
Bourgeois developed the earlier states of this composition on a plate that was eventually trimmed down for the edition.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
1472.2008

Ex Libris (for Paulo Herkenhoff)
2001-2002

States

Louise Bourgeois. Ex Libris (for Paulo Herkenhoff). 2001
State I of III
2001
Louise Bourgeois. Ex Libris (for Paulo Herkenhoff). 2001
State II of III
2001
Published Louise Bourgeois. Ex Libris (for Paulo Herkenhoff). 2002
State III of III
2002