plate: 6 15/16 x 5 3/8" (17.7 x 13.7 cm); sheet: 10 x 12 15/16" (25 x 33 cm)
Verso: untitled drawings across sheet, pencil, artist's hand; "bon dieu / de merde / pas de / chivalerie” upper middle sheet, pencil, artist’s hand; “le ciel / etait si / bleu que / j'ai eu / envie de lui / crever les / yeux, / j'en ai / pris un / morceau / je l'ai enroulé / puis je l'ai / ficeler avec / du fil defer / et j'ai tire sur le / fil mais le / ciel ne” lower center to lower right sheet, pencil, artist’s hand; “s'est pas / défendu, tout entortillé et il / jeté parterre / m'a regardé encore de ses / yeux bleus et quand j'ai vu / le... [illeg.] / ses yeux un peu. / [illeg. and crossed out] / bon dieu de / merde" right middle sheet, pencil, artist's hand.
Changes from state II, in engraving: second figure from the left further delineated; line added across upper composition. Changes from state II, in drypoint: shading added to leftmost figure. Additions in pencil: lines in rightmost figure reinforced, anticipating state IV.
"'My children always put me on the defensive... I lose my emotional balance.' In a different vein, Bourgeois mentioned that one of the figures at the left seemed like a traffic light and that the main figure reminded her of herself crossing Eighth Avenue. 'I always ask someone to help me when I cross the street.'" (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 99.)
The 1947-1949 untitled drawing, seen below in Related Works in Other Mediums, is on the verso of state III of V of "Famille."
In the second half of the 1940s, Bourgeois spent time at Atelier 17, the print workshop of Stanley William Hayter. The workshop had transferred operations from Paris to New York during the war years. It is not known precisely which prints she made at the workshop since she also worked at home on a small press. The designation of “the artist at Atelier 17” as printer means that the impression was likely made at the workshop. The designation is based on dates, inscriptions, techniques favored at Atelier 17, and/or stylistic similarities to images in the illustrated book “He Disappeared into Complete Silence,” which the artist repeatedly cited as having been made at Atelier 17. It is also possible that Bourgeois worked on certain plates both at home and at the workshop, or pulled impressions at both places.
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