Soft ground etching, drypoint and engraving, with blue and black ink, black wash, blue carbon, pencil, white gouache and blue and green watercolor additions
Smooth, wove Somerset paper
plate: 16 3/8 x 19 3/4" (41.6 x 50.1 cm); sheet: 20 1/4 x 23 5/8" (51.5 x 60 cm)
Verso: "William Maxell/ is a writer./ hysterical energy" center sheet, pencil, artist's hand; "1) being lst (anywhere)- theme- fear. / 2) taken for a clown, actor role, entertainment, / 3) costuming masks / 4)" right center sheet, pencil, artist's hand; "Steve Churchill. / lived in enjoyment- / 1) color red love for a woman / metaphor (crossed out) / 2) circle myself as a whole entity / 3) triangle female genitalia / 4) opposing patterns is metaphor for the problem [illeg.]" lower center sheet, pencil, artist's hand.
Proof before the editioning of version 2, state IV. This composition was also issued as published editions at version 3, state X and version 3, state XI.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1, in soft ground etching: composition transferred to new plate by tracing photocopy of first source drawing onto copper plate. Changes from version 1, in engraving: floorboards added and lines in bedspread refined. Changes from version 1, in drypoint: bed frame shaded and composition reinforced overall. Changes from version 2, state I, by burnishing: bed skirt removed. Changes from version 2, state I, in engraving: bottom contour of bedspread reinforced. Additions in black ink: bedspread reconfigured; bed frame further shaded and lips added under bedspread, anticipating state III; bed leg elongated, anticipating version 2, state IV. Additions in blue carbon transfer: second pair of lips added under bed and bedspread reconfigured. Additions in white gouache: smooth bedspread masked.
Version 2, state IV of this composition was published as a benefit for the Rivington House branch of Village Care of New York (previously Village Center for Care). Version 3, state XI of this composition was published as a benefit for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Inscribed on the verso of the source drawing: "Aug 20th Wardrobe Series / Les dessin de lit ne sont pas mal, mais des sacs de matelas seraient mieux, dessins de lit, the more, the better. Ce dessin n'est pas assez exact."
"Two things you count in one's erotic life: dinner table and bed. The table where your parents made you suffer. And the bed where you lie with your husband, where your children were born and you will die. Essentially, since they are about the same size, they are the same object." (Quote cited in Munro, Eleanor. "Originals: American Women Artists." New York: Simon and Schuster,1979, pp. 154-9.)
According to the artist's assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, the subject of beds stems not only from their symbolic resonance for Bourgeois but also from her interest in their geometric and architectural forms. The bed motif is found in Bourgeois's drawings, sculptures, and installations, as well as in her prints (see Related Works in Other Mediums).
According to Wendy Williams of the Louise Bourgeois Studio, this composition was the source for the plaster and steel sculpture, "Arched Couple," 1999, seen below in Related Works in Other Mediums.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
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