page (left): Soft ground etching, with black and red watercolor, black pencil, gray gouache, and pencil additions page (right): Soft ground etching, with blue watercolor, black pencil, red gouache, and pencil additions
Smooth, wove music paper; staves drawn in pencil
spread: 11 7/16 × 30 5/16" (29 × 77 cm)
“LB” lower right comp. of right page, pencil. “LB” lower right title page, red crayon. “Louise Bourgeois” lower left colophon, red crayon.
"Set 5" upper center cover of title page, red crayon, artist's hand; "set #5 of 6 sets" colophon, red crayon, artist's hand; "Set 5" upper left cover of each folio, pencil, unknown hand.
For documentation purposes, the term “folio” here refers to pages that have been sewn or glued together to form separate units of a folio set. (In the sets examined by MoMA, folios consisted of 4-12 pages.) Each folio set is comprised of 22 folios and is considered a single artwork. There are 6 folio sets in the “Nothing to Remember” series, each housed within a box. The series is considered a published edition, although each folio set within the series is unique in terms of its contents.
Across the folio set series, there are 37 different printed compositions, which for documentation purposes, have been numbered 1-37. Some of these printed compositions appear many times across the series and others appear only once. Every impression of each composition is illustrated, in order to show the varying orientations and unique hand additions. Most printed compositions have hand additions; occasionally printed compositions are only partially inked. Besides the printed compositions, each folio set contains drawn compositions, handwritten texts, and blank pages. The majority of the pages in each of the folio sets were prepared with a background of music staves drawn in pencil.
If a spread within a folio contains two different printed compositions next to each other, they have been catalogued as separate records. If a spread contains a printed composition paired with a drawing or text, the spread was kept together as a single catalogue record. If a spread contains only a drawing or text with no printed element, it was given a single catalogue record. Blank pages or pages with only music staves have no catalogue records.
The related work "To the Voyeur" (2005-2009) incorporates some of the same compositions from this series of folio sets, "Nothing to Remember." Since "To the Voyeur" came to light in the final days of producing, "Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books," it could not be fully integrated into the larger "Nothing to Remember" project. "To the Voyeur" can be seen in Related Works in the Catalogue.
In 2008, a trade edition of folio set no. 3 of 6 was published by Steidl Hauser & Wirth in a limited edition of 1,000.
To see all printed, drawn, and text compositions in folio set 5, in order, select “View All” under Series.
Each folio within set 5 is numbered 1-22 on the cover. Folio 1 is the title page and folio 22 is the colophon.
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.
This folio is one of 22 that constitute a single work of art. All of these folios are to be exhibited together, as an installation, in the sequence indicated on the cover of each folio.
“Nothing to Remember” sets 5 and 6 were available for MoMA’s examination. Other sets were catalogued with digital images and documentation provided by the publisher.
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