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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 702/II

Père, Gardez Vous...

State/Variant:
State II of II
Date:
1994
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "Father, protect yourself..."
Themes:
Figures, Motherhood & Family, Words
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 8 1/8 x 11 15/16" (20.6 x 30.3 cm); sheet: 10 15/16 x 13 3/16" (27.8 x 33.5 cm)
Signature:
Not signed
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
The artist
Edition:
1 known impression of state II
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Not issued as a published edition at any state.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state I, in drypoint: torso delineated; circle added to lower left composition.
Artist’s Remarks:
The phrase scratched on this print alludes to a story about a medieval king of France. According to Bourgeois, "This is a famous quote... every French schoolchild knows it... it refers to Hugues [Hugh] Capet. In the tenth century, at the Battle of Poitiers, Capet fought against the Moors who threatened to invade France as they had invaded Spain. Hugues Capet was defended by his son. His son would say, 'Father, watch out on the right—on the left—' Such devotion is very rare.

"I have converted this to 'Child, protect yourself: beware of the triangle.' The father is at the top of the triangle, playing one against the other... it is a power play... everyone in the triangle practices ferocity.

"I have an obsession with the triangle... it is an emotional problem. Everyone wants exclusive love and devotion... but that does not exist. As bad as the balance of the triangle is, and as bad as the power game is, it is better than the ultimatum which says: 'If you don't love me exclusively, I will commit suicide.' " (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 142.)
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 69 (state I only)
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
75.1997

Père, Gardez Vous...
1974-1994

States

Louise Bourgeois. Père, Gardez Vous... c.1974
State I of II
c.1974
Louise Bourgeois. Père, Gardez Vous... 1994
State II of II
1994

Incised in plate (printed in reverse):

"PÉRE / GARDEZ / VOUS / À DROITE / GARDEZ / VOUS À / GAUCHE / MÉFIE TOI DU TRIANGLE / ENFANT / GARDE TOI À DROITE / GARDE TOI À GAUCHE"

Translation: Father / protect / yourself / on the right / protect / yourself on / the left / beware of the triangle / child / protect yourself on the right / protect yourself on the left