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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 548.2

Femme Maison

State/Variant:
Version 2 of 2, only state
Date:
1984
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "Woman House"
Themes:
Architecture, Body Parts, Figures
Techniques:
Photogravure
Description:
Photogravure
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 10 1/16 x 4 7/16" (25.6 x 11.2 cm); sheet: 19 3/16 x 14 7/8" (48.7 x 37.8 cm)
Signature:
Not signed
Inscription:
Impressions of version 2 that are not illustrated include the following inscriptions: "For Bob, April 7, 84" and "To Kay, / affectionately / Oct 84."
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Iris Editions, New York
Edition:
7 known impressions of version 2, only state, outside the edition
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the reprinting and editioning of version 2 in 1990.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1: composition enlarged and transferred to new matrix with added belly button, in photogravure.
Background:
This composition appeared first in an ink on linen work of 1946-47, and was then used for an exhibition brochure for "Louise Bourgeois: Paintings" on view at Norlyst Gallery, New York from 10/28-11/8/1947. The composition was also reproduced on the cover of Lucy Lippard, "From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art," (New York: Dutton, 1976); and for an exhibition poster for "‘Louise Bourgeois Sculpture/The Prints of Louise Bourgeois" at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, on view 10/15-12/31/1995.
Artist’s Remarks:
"I consider this perfect... it brings the personal together with the environment... it is a symbiosis of one with the universe... it is a kind of acceptance." The figure "is serene... it doesn't mind." But Bourgeois added, "There is a sexual loneliness. She is dignified, but she is alone... she has no companion. The little hand is trying to call for help. She is not sexual at all. Her head does not know that she is naked. She has no hair or bosom... they are occupied by work." (Quote cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 148.)
Curatorial Remarks:
Iris Editions was the imprint of Deli Sacilotto, a master printer who specialized in the photogravure technique. Bourgeois met Sacilotto through mutual friends and established a warm relationship with him. They worked together on projects in the early 1980s, and then again later, when Sacilotto joined Graphicstudio in Tampa, Florida and encouraged the artist to create the multiple, “Spider Home” (cat. no. 15).
Bibliography:
Quinn, Bridget, with illustrations by Lisa Congdon. "Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in that order)." San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2017.

The essay on Bourgeois describes how Quinn encountered "Femme Maison" on the cover of Lucy Lippard's book "From the Center: Feminist Essays on Women's Art". Quinn elaborates on this composition, as well as other key works from Bourgeois's ouevre.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 75
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
466.1993
This Work in Other Collections:
Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Rowan University Art Gallery, Sylvia Sleigh Collection, Glassboro, NJ

Femme Maison
1947; 1984; reprinted and published 1990

Source
1946-1947

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison. 1946-1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Femme Maison
Ink on linen
1946-1947

Source
1947

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison. 1947
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Femme Maison
Ink and pencil on paper
1947

First Version

Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison. 1947
Version 1 of 2, only state
1947

Second Version

Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison. 1984
Version 2 of 2, only state
1984
Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison. 1984
Version 2 of 2, only state, variant
1984
Published Louise Bourgeois. Femme Maison. 1984; reprinted 1990
Version 2 of 2, only state
1984; reprinted 1990