13 on fabric (numbered 1/8-8/8, I/V-V/V); plus 2 A.P., 2 P.P., and an edition of 25 on paper with 7 A.P., 5 P.P., 3 H.C., 1 B.A.T.
"4/8" verso, unknown hand.
There is 1 known variant impression of version 2, state VIII, on paper, outside the two editions of version 2, on paper and fabric.
There are variations in the fabrics used in this edition, as is commonly found in the old fabrics Bourgeois chose to use as printing surfaces. Five varying examples are reproduced in the Evolving Composition Diagram below.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1: outline of composition rendered on a new plate, in drypoint; image size decreased. Changes from version 2, state VII, in engraving: horizontal line added across lower composition.
Version 1, state I, of this print was published, untitled, by the American Art Award, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Coach, Inc., New York. The publishers commissioned the work on the occasion of the Whitney's 2006 American Art Award, which was sponsored by Coach. The Whitney commissions an artwork each year to serve as the award to individuals or organizations recognized for sustained commitment to American artistic and cultural heritage. The honoree in 2006, the year of Bourgeois's commission, was Terry J. Lundgren, CEO, Chairman of the Board, and President of Macy's, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio. Each of the editioned impressions, numbered I/IV-IV/IV, went to the Whitney Museum, the honoree, the sponsor, and the artist.
Bourgeois continued to work with the composition in second and third versions, titling the print "Self Portrait." In 2007, Harlan & Weaver, New York, published version 2, state VIII, in editions on paper and on fabric. Version 3 was not published.
Cats are a significant theme throughout Bourgeois's work. Bourgeois kept pet cats, named Champfleurette and Tyger, at her home in New York. While growing up in France, her family had pet cats and dogs, as well.
"The five legged creature represents my family. I grew up in a family of five in France and also raised a family of five of my own in New York. My five legged animal is personal; it is a self portrait of my obligations. The idea of the family that stands together is very important to me." (The Easton Foundation: LBQ-0001, 2007)
The medium of the impression inscription and the plate dimensions are not documented because this work is not in MoMA’s collection and could not be examined in person. The plate dimensions are from the published impression on paper in MoMA's collection. Dimensions of fabric may vary slightly due to stretching. The sheet dimensions were provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.
This plate, used for version 2, has significant distress marks.
A pouch merchandise item was made from an image of version 2, state VIII of this composition.
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