Throughout this series of multi-panel works, there are a total of 17 soft ground etchings made from 11 different plates. Six of the plates each appear twice. In addition to their use in this series, some of the 11 plates were issued as individual editions. The plates are listed below and can be seen in Related Works in the Catalogue.
See Related Works in the Catalogue: "Extreme Tension" "Sangsue" "The Little Leeches" "The Stretch" "The God of Fertility" "Slipping Away" "Knots" "Alone and Together" "Abandoned" "The Twist" "Les Traces"
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.
This series of 11 compositions constitutes a single work of art. All of these compositions are to be exhibited together and in the indicated sequence.
The paper type could not be documented because this work is not in MoMA's Collection and could not be examined in person.
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou
The fragments of text inscribed within this series originated as parts of a longer text written by the artist c. 1959. Those fragments are recorded below by panel. Following the fragments is the original text.
No. 1: Extreme Tension
No. 2: My scalp forehead ears The base of the skull
No. 3: Back of the neck The back between the shoulder blades The base of the ribs Solar plexus
No. 4: The stomach The esophagus The throat
No. 5: The intestines The rectum
No. 6: The arms forearms hands fingers
No. 7: The legs thighs ankles toes The pelvis bones The joints
No. 8: The pains and cramps
No. 9: The breathing The palpitations The hot flashes
No. 10: The perspiration extreme extreme tension
No. 11: The smell of the hunted animal
Original Text: scalp the forehead the ears the base of the skull the back of the neck the back between the shoulder blades the base of the ribs -- the solar plexus -- the stomach the esophagus the throat -- the intestines -- the anus the pelvis bones the joints the legs thighs ankle toes the arms forearms and hands the breathing the tr [sic] the palpitations the hot flashes the pains -- the cramps -- the sweaty smell of the stalked animal extreme tension skunk very little is known as to the when chow, chow mein one day, localize mum
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