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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 490b-496b

Metamorfosis

Date:
1999
Themes:
Animals & Insects, Body Parts, Faces & Portraits, Figures, Music, Objects
Techniques:
Aquatint, Drypoint, Engraving, Etching
Description:
Portfolio with 7 compositions: all drypoints, 1 with aquatint, 3 with etching and aquatint, 1 with etching and engraving with chine collé, 1 with engraving and aquatint
Support:
Smooth, wove BFK Rives paper
Dimensions:
portfolio: 17 5/16 x 15 3/8 x 3/8" (44 x 39 x 1 cm); sheet (each): 13 x 13" (33 x 33 cm). Sheet and plate sizes vary throughout portfolio. See individual plates.
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois / Maria Fluxà" bottom center colophon of illustrated book, pencil.
Publisher:
Galerie Lelong, Paris
Printer:
Atelier Tanguy Garric, Paris
Edition:
25; plus 10 A.P., 5 H.C., and an illustrated book version with an edition of 85
Impression:
"EA III" lower center colophon of illustrated book, pencil, unknown hand.
"EA III/X" lower left margin, each sheet, pencil, unknown hand.
Edition Information:
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.
Housing:
Tan linen portfolio lined with cream paper, with paper flaps.
Background:
“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).

In the 1950s, when Bourgeois was living with her husband and children in an apartment on 18th Street in New York City, the family had two cats: Champfleurette and Tyger.
Installation Remarks:
The prints in this portfolio and in the illustrated book version can be shown as a group or individually.
Curatorial Remarks:
Bourgeois made four additional compositions that she considered for inclusion in the illustrated book and portfolio (see Related Works in the Catalogue). They were ultimately excluded from publication in favor of other compositions with similar imagery of a cat, feet, and seven figures in a bed.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
22.2002.B1-7
This Work in Other Collections:
Tate Modern, London

From the portfolio

View All
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 1 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 1 of 7, from the...
    Version 2 of 2, state II of II
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 1 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 2 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 2 of 7, from the...
    State IV of IV
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 2 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 3 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 3 of 7, from the...
    State II of II
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 3 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 4 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 4 of 7, from the...
    Version 2 of 2, only state
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 4 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 5 of 7, from the...
    State X of X
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 6 of 7, from the...
    State VII of VII
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 6 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
  • Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 7 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999
    Untitled, plate 7 of 7, from the...
    State II of II
    1999
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 7 of 7, from the portfolio, Metamorfosis. 1999