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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION

Cat. No. 446/I

Untitled, plate 3 of 9, from the portfolio, Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature

State/Variant:
State I of II
Date:
1998
Descriptive Title:
Tree with Woman
Themes:
Figures, Nature
Techniques:
Drypoint, Etching
Description:
Drypoint and etching, with correction fluid additions
Dimensions:
plate: 29 13/16 x 21 3/4" (75.8 x 55.3 cm); sheet: 39 1/8 x 27 1/2" (99.4 x 69.9 cm)
Signature:
"LB" lower right margin, pencil.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
Harlan & Weaver, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state I
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Proof before the editioning of state II.
State Changes and Additions:
Additions in correction fluid: contour of figure refined, anticipating state II.
Background:
According to Bourgeois’s assistant Jerry Gorovoy, topiary work interested Bourgeois because the cutting and healing of the plant makes the tree stronger.

The editioned state II of this composition was published as a benefit for the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Artist’s Remarks:
Inscribed on the verso of the source drawing: "his family tree no. 1"

Inscribed on the verso of related drawing, "Topiary," 1997: “Robert Hughes or John Russell / Vocabulary of the topiarist / Tree surgeon / The classical style is built on topiary / French garden, formality / Tivoli, the romantic 19th century English-garden / Care-giver – topiarist. = sculpture / The couple – cauterization / Flaming / TAR + shears / Antiseptic / Water=repellent / topiary AP. 97”

Written on a loose sheet, c. 1990s:
“Topiary
The trainer, the teacher, the carver, the butcher
To reject (cut off) and be moral about it
That is the fun
To nurture and train to full potential (valuable, useful)
I am going to cut (reject) everything in sight because I did not get what I wanted
What
To be loved by 1, 2, 3, 4
c’est la peur […]”
(The Easton Foundation: LB-0050)
Curatorial Remarks:
The paper type and plate dimensions of this impression could not be documented because this impression is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person. The plate dimensions are from the published impression in MoMA's Collection. The sheet dimensions were provided by the Louise Bourgeois Studio.
Public Collection:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale University Art Gallery

Untitled, plate 3 of 9, from the portfolio, Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature
1998

Source
1997

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Topiary: His Family Tree No. 1. 1997
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Topiary: His Family Tree No. 1
Pencil on paper
1997

States

NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 3 of 9, from the portfolio, Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature. 1998
NOT IN MoMA'S COLLECTION State I of II
1998
Published Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, plate 3 of 9, from the portfolio, Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature. 1998
State II of II
1998

Portfolio
1998

Louise Bourgeois. Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature. 1998
Topiary: The Art of Improving Nature
1998
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