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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 354a/IV

Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature

State/Variant:
State IV of V
Date:
2003
Illustrated Book:
The Laws of Nature (View All)
Author:
Paulo Herkenhoff
Themes:
Figures
Techniques:
Drypoint
Description:
Drypoint, with selective wiping
Support:
Smooth, wove Gangolf Ulbricht, Berlin, paper
Dimensions:
plate: 4 3/4 x 5 3/4" (12 x 14.6 cm); page: 8 7/8 x 9 3/8" (22.5 x 23.8 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois 2003" lower right margin, pencil.
"Louise Bourgeois" lower left colophon, pencil.
"Paulo Herkenhoff" lower right colophon, pencil.
Publisher:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
25; plus 8 A.P., 6 P.P., 2 H.C., 1 B.A.T., 1 T.P., and an edition of 10 on fabric with 3 A.P., 2 P.P.
Impression:
"a.p. 6/8" lower left margin, pencil, unknown hand
Edition Information:
Outside the published illustrated book editions on paper (2003) and on fabric (2006), there are several additional unpublished but signed formats: a series on fabric, printed in black, in 2 known examples; a series on fabric, printed in red, in 1 known example; and a series printed on a scarf, with plates in a different order, printed in black. (See the Evolving Composition Diagram.) The states of the plates within the various series sometimes differ from the states of the plates within the published editions.

There are also two sets of plates, printed in red, with no signatures. One set, from c. 2003, is on silk; the other, from c. 2006, is on paper. Since the prints in these sets have no signatures, the sets are not considered to be completed series.

There is 1 additional initialed impression of this composition on a heavy textured fabric, printed in black. It does not make up part of a series.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state III in drypoint: female figure's hair further delineated; ground line delineated; male figure's nose delineated.
Pagination:
Folio 7 of 8 unnumbered folios
Printer of Text:
The Grenfell Press, New York
Housing:
Unbound. Slightly textured, wove paper wrapper. Publisher's clamshell box: navy blue (with letterpress name and title plate), made by Claudia Cohen Bookbinder, Seattle.
Background:
The artist told printer Felix Harlan that the figures in this series are playing an adult version of a French children's game, known as "faire des galipettes," meaning to do somersaults. In fact, the expression "faire des galipettes" is also slang for having sex, a punning reference that Bourgeois must have enjoyed.
Curatorial Remarks:
The colophon notes that the essay by Paulo Herkenhoff was edited by Thyrza Goodeve.

A documentation sheet sent to MoMA from Harlan & Weaver in 2013 notes that there are 2 H.C. impressions and 1 T.P. included in the overall edition. These impressions are not noted in the edition information provided on the colophon.

In contrast to the designation "illustrated book," which contains text, this catalogue designates as a "series" those instances where there is no text accompanying a group of related plates.
Author Information:
Paulo Herkenhoff is a Brazilian curator and critic who had a longstanding friendship, and professional relationship, with Bourgeois.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
541.2005.5
This Work in Other Collections:
Tate Modern, London

Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature
2003-2006

States

Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2000-2001
State I of V, variant
2000-2001
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2000-2001
State I of V, variant
2000-2001
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2000-2001
State II of V
2000-2001
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2000-2001
State III of V, variant
2000-2001
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2000-2001
State III of V, variant
2000-2001
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the series, The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION State III, of V, variant
c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the series, The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION State III of V, variant
c. 2003
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the series, The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
State IV of V, variant
c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the series, The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION State IV of V, variant
c. 2003
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
State IV of V, variant
c. 2003
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2003
State IV of V
2003
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. c. 2006
State V of V, variant
c. 2006
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 5 of 5, from the illustrated book, The Laws of Nature. 2006
State V of V
2006

Illustrated Book
2003

Louise Bourgeois. The Laws of Nature. 2003
The Laws of Nature
2003
More About This Work

Illustrated Book
2006

Louise Bourgeois. The Laws of Nature. 2006
The Laws of Nature
2006
More About This Work

Series
c. 2003

Louise Bourgeois. The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
The Laws of Nature
c. 2003
More About This Work

Series
2001-2003

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Laws of Nature. 2001-2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION The Laws of Nature
2001-2003
More About This Work

Series
c. 2003

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION The Laws of Nature
c. 2003
More About This Work

Series
c. 2003

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. The Laws of Nature. c. 2003
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION The Laws of Nature
c. 2003
More About This Work

Paulo Herkenhoff,

Notes on the Laws of Nature,

2003

Desire challenges the laws of nature. It defies the rules of anatomy, gravity, time, and language. In the encounter between the body and desire, muscles and tissues gain elasticity and tonus, migrating beyond the logic of corporeal boundaries. Body language is the utterance of the unspeakable.

There is silence in desire. In the melody of the pas de deux, the bodies write themselves. One is inscribed in the other. The dance of desire is the calligraphy of seduction.

The language of the body is a topological choreography similar to a Moebius strip, where the actual continuity of One and the Other is a surface without inside and outside. What estrangement is possible? Fusion fears separation while phantoms anticipate it, leading lovers to melancholic fantasies of incorporation. It is the eve of loss. One body nourishes while one is nourished.

A print is the memory of the body of the Other in our body. The act of turning a page reiterates the action of lightly touching the Other. The dance of love passes through our fingers. Closing this book is wrapping the body in the memory of a precious moment.

Desire wants no end. Lovers experience suspended time. Amor fugit. The only fragile defense against time is the poetical belief in the imaginary quality of love as being eternal. The lovers hold each other and will not be separated. At the end, the world is totally upside-down.