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LOUISE BOURGEOIS: COMPLETE BOOKS & PRINTS

Louise Bourgeois: Complete Books & Prints
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Cat. No. 559/II

Famille

State/Variant:
State II of V
Date:
1947-1949
Descriptive Title:
English translation: "Family"
Themes:
Figures, Motherhood & Family
Techniques:
Drypoint, Engraving
Description:
Engraving and drypoint
Support:
Smooth, wove paper
Dimensions:
plate: 6 15/16 x 5 7/16" (17.7 x 13.8 cm); sheet: 11 x 8 7/16" (28 x 21.5 cm)
Signature:
"Louise Bourgeois" lower left margin, pencil.
Publisher:
unpublished
Printer:
The artist at Atelier 17, New York
Edition:
1 known impression of state II
Impression:
Not numbered
Edition Information:
Not issued as a published edition at any state.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from state I, in engraving: figures further delineated; dots added throughout leftmost and rightmost figures; horizon line in lower composition further delineated.
Changes from state I, in drypoint: faint scratches added to tops of middle figures and bottom of rightmost figure.
Artist’s Remarks:
"'My children always put me on the defensive... I lose my emotional balance.'
In a different vein, Bourgeois mentioned that one of the figures at the left seemed like a traffic light and that the main figure reminded her of herself crossing Eighth Avenue. 'I always ask someone to help me when I cross the street.'" (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 99.)
Curatorial Remarks:
The 1947-1949 untitled drawing, seen below in Related Works in Other Mediums, is on the verso of state III of V of "Famille."

In the second half of the 1940s, Bourgeois spent time at Atelier 17, the print workshop of Stanley William Hayter. The workshop had transferred operations from Paris to New York during the war years. It is not known precisely which prints she made at the workshop since she also worked at home on a small press. The designation of “the artist at Atelier 17” as printer means that the impression was likely made at the workshop. The designation is based on dates, inscriptions, techniques favored at Atelier 17, and/or stylistic similarities to images in the illustrated book “He Disappeared into Complete Silence,” which the artist repeatedly cited as having been made at Atelier 17. It is also possible that Bourgeois worked on certain plates both at home and at the workshop, or pulled impressions at both places.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 40
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
149.1990.2

Famille
1947-1949

States

Louise Bourgeois. Famille. 1947-1949
State I of V
1947-1949
Louise Bourgeois. Famille. 1947-1949
State II of V
1947-1949
Louise Bourgeois. Famille. 1947-1949
State III of V
1947-1949
Louise Bourgeois. Famille. 1947-1949
State IV of V
1947-1949
Louise Bourgeois. Famille. 1947-1949
State V of V
1947-1949