Changes from state IV, in engraving: curving lines added across left and upper composition; swirling lines and crosshatching added to lower center composition.
State VIII was published as a benefit for Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World).
The publisher Éditions de la Tempête, Paris, contacted Bourgeois in 1992 to request her participation in a portfolio project to benefit Médecins du Monde, a French humanitarian organization that sends doctors to areas where medical help is needed. Bourgeois's print was included in "Les Artistes pour Médecins du Monde," the first portfolio published by Éditions de la Tempête, containing works by twenty-five artists including Pierre Alechinsky, Balthus, Roy Lichtenstein, Matta, Robert Rauschenberg, and Antoni Tàpies. The artists were given no restrictions regarding subject, medium, or size.
"The horizon divides the land and the sky, which are equally black and tormented." Pointing to the treelike shape at the center, Bourgeois said, "There is a little self-portrait here... it looks like a little geyser... it is the center and it holds its own in that storm.
"The idea of the geyser is of the sources that come out of the ground. They are hot, sometimes very hot... they are useful, beneficial as in the spas. There is a certain mystery to the hot waters that gurgle out... you do not know where they come from.... With my mother's emphysema, I took her from spa to spa. They told me it was a vacation, but it really was a way of pushing back death." Bourgeois proceeded to write the names of spas in the margin of the print. "This print was chosen by the Médecins du Monde as a benefit. They chose it without knowing what it meant to me." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. “The Prints of Louise Bourgeois.” New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 226.)
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 146
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Albertina, Vienna Cleveland Museum of Art, OH The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
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