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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 705

Self Portrait

Date:
2009
Themes:
Body Parts, Fabric Works, Faces & Portraits, Figures, Motherhood & Family, Objects
Techniques:
Digital, Drypoint
Description:
Fabric collage, with 27 compositions: 25 drypoints (2 with red watercolor additions, 1 with black ink additions) and 2 digital prints, and stitching
Dimensions:
overall: 123 3/4 × 91 1/4" (314.3 × 231.8 cm)
Publisher:
The artist
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York,
Dyenamix, New York
Edition:
Unique
Edition Information:
The collage elements of this work are printed compositions described here and seen below in Related Works in the Catalogue.

The 24 compositions that comprise the 24-hour clock are part of the edition of "Self Portrait," 2009, a series of drypoints. This set is no. 1/5. This set has certain variations in the individual compositions. Those are noted below.

At top left: Untitled, 2009. Drypoint.
This is 1 of 3 known impressions of state I of II. This impression has black ink additions.

At top middle: “The Family,” 2007. Digital print.
This is 1 of 2 known impressions of the only state, outside the edition.

At top right: “The Maternal Man,” 2008. Digital print.
This is 1 of 2 known impressions of this smaller version, without the baby.


Variations in this set (no. 1/5) of the "Self Portrait" series edition:

“Female,” plate 2 of 24, at hour 2 in the clock:
This impression is state I of II, before the baby was added to the figure in state II; the impressions of this composition in set nos. 2/5–5/5 and A.P. 1/1 are all state II of II, and titled "Desire". Also, this impression is printed in black ink, instead of blue, and has red watercolor additions.

“Robert,” plate 3 of 24, at hour 3 in the clock:
This impression is state I of II, before the figure was shaded, in etching; the impressions of this composition in set nos. 2/5–5/5 and A.P. 1/1 are all state II of II.

“Good Mother,” plate 17 of 24, at hour 17 in the clock:
This impression has red watercolor additions; the impressions of this composition in set nos. 2/5–5/5 and A.P. 1/1. do not have hand additions.

"Arch of Hysteria," plate 19 of 24, from the series, "Self Portrait" (at hour 19 in the clock):
This impression was printed in blue ink; the impressions of this composition in set nos. 2/5–5/5 and A.P. 1/1 were printed in black ink.

There are variations in the fabrics used in the “Self Portrait” series edition, as is commonly found in the old fabrics Bourgeois chose to use as printing surfaces.
Background:
According to the Louise Bourgeois Studio, the inspiration for this work was the old bedspread which serves as the support for this large fabric collage. Marussa Gravagnuolo and Christine Lahoud of Galerie Pièce Unique, in Paris, found the bedspread, with an embroidered “LB” monogram (see below the clock), and gave it to Bourgeois. Gravagnuolo and Lahoud proposed that the artist make something with the bedspread to exhibit in their gallery. Bourgeois did so, and this work was shown there from September 17, 2009 to December 12, 2009.

The 2009 “Self Portrait” series incorporated in the “Self Portrait” fabric collage seen here depicts the story of Bourgeois’s life. Beginning with an image of a young girl, it progresses through marriage and having children, and finally, to predominant themes in the artist's work.

This fabric collage is the first of eight unique fabric clock works Bourgeois made, all in 2009, which incorporate various compositions printed on fabric. The other seven are included in Related Works in the Catalogue below.
Curatorial Remarks:
The 27 compositions incorporated in this fabric collage are printed on individual fabric sheets and stitched onto the overall fabric sheet. The outline of the clock is stitched into the overall fabric sheet in brown thread; the clock’s hands and the numbers around the clock are stitched in red thread; the numbers around the untitled print at the top left are stitched in blue thread; and the numbers around the “The Maternal Man” impression at the top right are stitched in black thread.

The clock's hands are positioned at 19 and 11, the year Bourgeois was born.

The overall fabric sheet is embroidered with the monogram "LB" below the clock.

This work is not in MoMA’s Collection and could not be catalogued in person.

Self Portrait
2009

Collage

Published NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Self Portrait. 2009
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION 2009