25; plus 10 A.P., 5 H.C., and an illustrated book version with an edition of 85
"EA III/X" lower left margin, pencil, unknown hand.
There are 3 known impressions of state II, outside the editions; only one is illustrated due to the similarity of the others to the impressions seen here.
The illustrated books numbered 1/25-25/25 in the edition of 85 are accompanied by a portfolio of 7 prints (the 5 compositions represented in the book and 2 additional compositions). The remaining 60 illustrated books in the edition are numbered 26/85-85/85 and are not accompanied by portfolios. The A.P. illustrated books (A.P. I-X of XX) and the H.C. illustrated books (H.C. 1-5) are accompanied by the portfolio of 7 prints. In all, there are 40 illustrated books accompanied by portfolios.
“Metamorfosis” is a collaboration initiated by Maria Fluxà, a Spanish gallery owner and collector. Fluxà first encountered Bourgeois’s work at the 1982 MoMA retrospective and felt a particular emotional connection to the “Femme Maison.” She then began enthusiastically collecting Bourgeois’s work, which she displayed in her gallery, Lluc Fluxà, in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Taking inspiration from Bourgeois's themes of memory, identity, and trauma, Fluxà also staged a performance at her gallery titled “Götterdämmerung” that dealt with her own upbringing.
In 1993, Fluxà met Bourgeois at the MoMA opening of a Joan Miró exhibition, introducing herself as an admirer and collector. She later visited the artist, which led to discussions about a possible collaboration between the two.
Bourgeois had a sympathetic response to Fluxà’s difficult relationship with her father, a problem she shared. After meeting over the next several years, she agreed to participate in a collaborative work that became the illustrated book entitled, "Metamorfosis." Here, Fluxà creates a fusion of words and imagery that conflates her own identity with that of the artist. Bourgeois allowed images of her work to contribute to this fusion, and also created five prints especially for the volume. The book was published by Galerie Lelong, Paris, in 1999. For a deluxe edition, the volume was accompanied by a portfolio with two additional prints, making a total of seven compositions created by Bourgeois in conjunction with this project.
In 2005, Fluxà and Dolors Caballero organized the exhibition and catalogue, "Louise Bourgeois: Repairs in the sky" at the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, in Mallorca. In 2008, Fluxà and Caballero also organized "La Sage Femme: Louise Bourgeois," an exhibition and catalogue of Fluxà's collection of Bourgeois works, at Sala Espacio AV, in Murcia (Spain).
The prints in this portfolio and in the illustrated book version can be shown as a group or individually.
Bourgeois worked with the printer Harlan & Weaver, New York, to develop the compositions in "Metamorfosis." The plates were then turned over to the printer Atelier Tanguy Garric, Paris, for editioning and publication by Galerie Lelong, Paris.
To develop this composition, the artist made a tracing of Untitled, plate 6 of 7, from the portfolio; it is designated as a study in the Evolving Composition Diagram below. According to Felix Harlan, of Harlan & Weaver, New York, tracings based on the artist's preexisting imagery were sometimes used as aids when developing compositions.
According to the artist's assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, the beds seen throughout "Metamorfosis" stem 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).
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