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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 835

Extreme Tension

Date:
2007
Themes:
Abstraction, Animals & Insects, Body Parts, Figures
Techniques:
Etching
Description:
Series of 11 compositions: 17 soft ground etchings, 13 with hand additions
Support:
Paper
Dimensions:
Plate and sheet sizes vary throughout. See individual.
Signature:
Signature varies throughout. See individual.
Publisher:
Osiris, New York
Printer:
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
Edition:
Unique
Edition Information:
Throughout this series of multi-panel works, there are a total of 17 soft ground etchings made from 11 different plates. Six of the plates each appear twice. In addition to their use in this series, some of the 11 plates were issued as individual editions. The plates are listed below and can be seen in Related Works in the Catalogue.

See Related Works in the Catalogue:
"Extreme Tension"
"Sangsue"
"The Little Leeches"
"The Stretch"
"The God of Fertility"
"Slipping Away"
"Knots"
"Alone and Together"
"Abandoned"
"The Twist"
"Les Traces"
Background:
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.
Installation Remarks:
This series of 11 compositions constitutes a single work of art. All of these compositions are to be exhibited together and in the indicated sequence.
Curatorial Remarks:
The paper type could not be documented because this work is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person.
Public Collection:
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou

From the series

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  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 1 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 1 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 1 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Text, no. 2 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Text, no. 2 of 11, from the series...
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Text, no. 2 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 3 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 3 of 11, from the...
    Unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 3 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 4 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 4 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 4 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 5 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 6 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 6 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 6 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 7 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 7 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 7 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 8 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 8 of 11, from the...
    Unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 8 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 9 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 9 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 9 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 10 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 10 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 10 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
  • NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 11 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007
    Untitled, no. 11 of 11, from the...
    Only state, unique variant
    2007
    Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, no. 11 of 11, from the series, Extreme Tension. 2007

Louise Bourgeois,

Extreme Tension,

New York, Osiris, 2007

The fragments of text inscribed within this series originated as parts of a longer text written by the artist c. 1959. Those fragments are recorded below by panel. Following the fragments is the original text.

No. 1:
Extreme Tension

No. 2:
My scalp forehead ears
The base of the skull

No. 3:
Back of the neck
The back between the shoulder blades
The base of the ribs
Solar plexus

No. 4:
The stomach
The esophagus
The throat

No. 5:
The intestines
The rectum

No. 6:
The arms forearms hands fingers

No. 7:
The legs thighs ankles toes
The pelvis bones
The joints

No. 8:
The pains and cramps

No. 9:
The breathing
The palpitations
The hot flashes

No. 10:
The perspiration
extreme extreme tension

No. 11:
The smell of the hunted animal

Original Text:
scalp
the forehead
the ears
the base of the skull
the back of the neck
the back between the shoulder blades
the base of the ribs --
the solar plexus --
the stomach the esophagus the throat --
the intestines -- the anus
the pelvis bones the joints
the legs thighs ankle toes
the arms forearms and hands
the breathing the tr [sic]
the palpitations
the hot flashes
the pains -- the cramps --
the sweaty smell of the stalked
animal extreme tension skunk very
little is known as to the when
chow, chow mein one day, localize
mum

Louise Bourgeois, c. 1959. Loose sheet: 10 x 8" (25.4 x 20.3 cm). LB-0768; © The Easton Foundation.