This is one of 8 unique variants of state I of the "Paddle Woman" plate. In making these unique variants, Bourgeois first added hand additions to 10 impressions and called them "studies." (Usually in this catalogue, the term "study" describes photocopies and tracings that were used in the process of developing a composition.) She then combined 3 of the studies into this multi-panel work, and issued 7 as single panel works. They are all listed below and can be seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram:
See Evolving Composition Diagram: "Paddle Woman" study 1 "Paddle Woman" study 2 "Paddle Woman" study 3 "Paddle Woman" study 4 "Paddle Woman" study 5 "Paddle Woman" study 6 "Paddle Woman" study 8 Untitled, no. 3 of 4, from the series, "Inner Truths or Outer Truths" (incorporates studies 7, 9, and 10)
There is 1 known impression of state I outside the unique variants, without hand additions. It is seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram below.
About the edition of state II: Within the edition, selective wiping and sheet size vary slightly from impression to impression. There is 1 known impression of state II, outside the edition. It is inscribed "second state" in the lower left composition by the artist, and signed "Louise Bourgeois" in the lower right composition, both in pencil. There are 2 known cancellation proofs of state II, each with a large "X" drawn across the composition from each corner of the plate.
Benjamin Shiff, the director of the Osiris imprint, collaborated with Bourgeois in a highly experimental phase of printmaking that occupied the last years of her life, from 2005 to 2010. He first established a working relationship with the artist in the 1990s, but the late period is particularly noteworthy for the innovative and complex large-scale projects that evolved at that time. Shiff made use of professional workshops for printing, but he oversaw the creation of the printing plates as Bourgeois worked on them in her home studio. He also provided assistance as she added extensive hand additions and texts, and as she combined individual compositions into multi-panel works and illustrated books.
The paper type, color of the hand additions, and verso inscriptions could not be fully documented because this work is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person. The plate dimensions are from the impression of state I in MoMA's Collection. The sheet dimensions were provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.
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