As explained in his published postscript to "Homely Girl, a Life," Peter Blum expressed to Bourgeois his wish to do a book at the time of their collaboration on the 1990 "Anatomy" portfolio. For a long time, he had also been interested in publishing a book by American playwright Arthur Miller. While looking with Bourgeois at the book "Portraits," a collection of photographs by Miller's wife Inge Morath, which included a portrait of Bourgeois, Blum had the idea of bringing author and artist together. The publisher proposed a collaborative project, which appealed to both.
Miller visited Bourgeois's sculpture-filled Brooklyn studio and saw there, among many other works, several pieces in her series Cells, which concerns the senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Miller selected for the project an unpublished text whose subject is a romance between a girl and a blind man.
"TOI and MOI ... a love affair. This beautiful thing is the consequence of the encounter of two people. One says to the other: 'Look what we can do together.'"
Looking at the trade edition, which reproduces drawings, and then the special edition with prints, Bourgeois said: "With the drawing, my pen never left the page ... it is a single line ... it is impetuous and direct. The print is totally different ... every petal is individually considered there. And there is also the extra dimension of the symbolic act of engraving." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 216.)
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