panel (a): Changes from state I, in drypoint: hair added to little figure.
panel (b): Changes from state I, by burnishing: figure’s belly partially removed. Changes from state I, in drypoint: figure and breast further delineated.
panel (c): Changes from state I, in drypoint: figures further delineated.
"The Reticent Child" was reproduced in lithography for Bourgeois's 2005 artist's book "Recueil des Secrets de Louyse Bourgeois," seen in Related Works in the Catalogue below. The book was issued as part of Salon Verlag's series "Ex Libris," for which artists are invited to reprint a book that has had an impact of his or her own work. Each of these reprints, published in a trade edition of 300, is furnished by the artist with a newly designed cover and a signed ex libris, or bookplate. The deluxe edition comes with an additional signed work by the artist and special housing.
Bourgeois's newly designed cover and bookplate are taken from two editioned impressions of "The Reticent Child." The bookplate is a reproduction of the left panel from impression no. 8/8, the front cover is a reproduction of the center panel from impression no. 7/8, and the back cover is a reproduction of the right panel from impression no. 7/8.
"'There is a child who simply refused to be born. His birth was quite late. Was there something that he perceived that prevented him from wanting to leave the womb and go out into the world? How much of who he will be, his feelings and actions, will be predetermined by his refusal to appear? How will this child face the future? Will he be shy, reduced to silence, awkward or even hostile? He is the reticent child. It était réticent. Mais je l'ai révélé. [He was reticent. But I found him out.]' This text was written on the wall of the installation "The Reticent Child," Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, 2003. The statement refers to Bourgeois and [her husband Robert] Goldwater's third son, Alain Matthew Clement Bourgeois, who was born on 12 November 1941. He is now a retired judge in the New York State court system." (Quote cited in Morris, Frances, and Marie-Laure Bernadac. "Louise Bourgeois." London: Tate Modern, 2007, p. 38.)
"The Reticent Child" is also the title of a 2003 sculpture (see below in Related Works in Other Mediums) that was created for Bourgeois's exhibition at the Freud Museum in Vienna. As a direct response to that sculpture, Bourgeois completed a series of 82 double-sided drawings entitled "Il Était Réticent, Mais Je L'ai Révélé," also in Related Works in Other Mediums below.
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