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Cat. No. 921

The Nest

Only state
Abstraction, Nature
Soft ground etching, with selective wiping
Smooth, thick wove paper
plate (in 2 vertical parts) (overall): 58 13/16 × 35 5/16" (149.4 × 89.7 cm); sheet: 58 13/16 x 35 9/16" (149.4 x 90.4 cm)
"Louise Bourgeois LB" lower right comp., pencil.
Verso: "Nid" lower center sheet, pencil, artist's hand; "the nest" lower middle sheet, pencil, artist's hand.
Osiris, New York
Wingate Studio, Hinsdale, NH
"7/9" lower left comp., pencil, artist's hand.
Edition Information:
Within the edition, selective wiping and sheet size vary slightly from impression to impression. There is 1 known impression of the only state, outside the edition. It is signed "Louise / Bourgeois" in the lower right composition. There are 2 known cancellation proofs, each with a large "X" drawn across the composition from each corner of the plate.
Benjamin Shiff, the director of the Osiris imprint, collaborated with Bourgeois in a highly experimental phase of printmaking that occupied the last years of her life, from 2005 to 2010. He first established a working relationship with the artist in the 1990s, but the late period is particularly noteworthy for the innovative and complex large-scale projects that evolved at that time. Shiff made use of professional workshops for printing, but he oversaw the creation of the printing plates as Bourgeois worked on them in her home studio. He also provided assistance as she added extensive hand additions and texts, and as she combined individual compositions into multi-panel works and illustrated books.

Osiris put together a grouping of Bourgeois's late, large-scale soft ground etchings under the title "Turning Inwards." Nine sets were announced. Each "Turning Inwards" set is unique, containing a different number of prints. Sets include editioned prints as well as early proofs. Some also have multiple impressions of the same composition, due to differences in inking and wiping.

The "Turning Inwards" sets are not considered formal series that must be shown in their entirety; the prints in each set can be displayed separately.

Set #1 of 9 contains 67 prints and is in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Set #2 contains 43 prints and is in the collection of the Tate Modern. Set #3 contains 38 prints. Set #4 contains 39 prints. The contents of sets #5-9 were not known by MoMA cataloguers, as of 2018.

The title "Turning Inwards" is given to the overall grouping and is also the title of one of the individual compositions within it. Titles that may appear in the various "Turning Inwards" sets are as follows:

1. À Baudelaire
2. Abandoned
3. Accumulations
4. Are You in Orbit? (#1)
5. Are You in Orbit? (#2)
6. The Awakening
7. The Chain of Events
8. The Fall
9. La Famille
10. Les Fleurs
11. I See You!!!
12. Incognito
13. Just Like Me
14. Knots
15. Leaves
16. Let My Children Come
17. Look Up!
18. Losing It
19. Love and Kisses
20. La Maladie de l'Amour
21. My Inner Life
22. My Secret Life
23. The Nest
24. Opening Up
25. The Pacifiers
26. Paddle Woman
27. Passages
28. Pendule
29. The Prey of an Anxiety
30. Sangsue
31. The Smell of Eucalyptus (#1)
32. The Smell of Eucalyptus (#2)
33. The Stretch
34. Swaying
35. Swelling
36. Turning Inwards
37. The Twist
38. The Unfolding
39. Up and Up

This impression is in MoMA's set #1 of 9.
Curatorial Remarks:
In the center of this composition, there is a small gap between the two vertical parts of the plate. The gap is filled with black crayon and black watercolor wash additions to match the surrounding plate tone and create the illusion of a single plate.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Tate Modern, London

The Nest


Published Louise Bourgeois. The Nest. 2009
Only state