1 known impression of state I, outside the unique variants and before the edition of state II
This impression, outside the unique variants, is the only known impression of state I without hand additions.
There are 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)
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.
Osiris put together a grouping of Bourgeois's late, large-scale soft ground etchings under the title "Turning Inwards." Nine sets were announced. Each "Turning Inwards" set is unique, containing a different number of prints. Sets include editioned prints as well as early proofs. Some also have multiple impressions of the same composition, due to differences in inking and wiping.
The "Turning Inwards" sets are not considered formal series that must be shown in their entirety; the prints in each set can be displayed separately.
Set #1 of 9 contains 67 prints and is in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Set #2 contains 43 prints and is in the collection of the Tate Modern. Set #3 contains 38 prints. Set #4 contains 39 prints. The contents of sets #5-9 were not known by MoMA cataloguers, as of 2018.
The title "Turning Inwards" is given to the overall grouping and is also the title of one of the individual compositions within it. Titles that may appear in the various "Turning Inwards" sets are as follows:
1. À Baudelaire 2. Abandoned 3. Accumulations 4. Are You in Orbit? (#1) 5. Are You in Orbit? (#2) 6. The Awakening 7. The Chain of Events 8. The Fall 9. La Famille 10. Les Fleurs 11. I See You!!! 12. Incognito 13. Just Like Me 14. Knots 15. Leaves 16. Let My Children Come 17. Look Up! 18. Losing It 19. Love and Kisses 20. La Maladie de l'Amour 21. My Inner Life 22. My Secret Life 23. The Nest 24. Opening Up 25. The Pacifiers 26. Paddle Woman 27. Passages 28. Pendule 29. The Prey of an Anxiety 30. Sangsue 31. The Smell of Eucalyptus (#1) 32. The Smell of Eucalyptus (#2) 33. The Stretch 34. Swaying 35. Swelling 36. Turning Inwards 37. The Twist 38. The Unfolding 39. Up and Up
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