44; plus 10 A.P., 6 P.P., 2 SOLO Press Impressions, 2 for Peter Blum, 1 B.A.T
"III/X" left lower margin, pencil, unknown hand.
The entire edition size was not listed on the publisher's colophon or in the cataloguing of this portfolio in Wye and Smith, "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois," 1994, p. 166. The full edition seen here was confirmed by Harlan & Weaver, New York.
The 10 A.P. impressions are numbered in Roman numerals. The 6 P.P. impressions are numbered in Arabic numerals, as is the single B.A.T. impression. The 2 SOLO Press Impressions are inscribed "SPI 1" and "SPI 2." The inscriptions and numbering on the 2 impressions for Peter Blum are unknown.
There is 1 known impression of the only state, outside the edition.
In 1988 Peter Blum, as a representative of "Parkett" magazine, discussed doing a multiple with Bourgeois. He also explored with her the idea of doing a print project with Peter Blum Edition. When they began to do prints together in 1989, Blum worked with Judith Solodkin, of SOLO Impression, as supervisor of printing, since Solodkin already had a friendly relationship with Bourgeois. Since SOLO Impression did not focus on intaglio printing, Solodkin made arrangements with Harlan & Weaver. Occasionally, Bourgeois went to the SOLO Impression workshop to inspect proofs brought over from Harlan & Weaver. Initially, she had no particular project in mind and began working in drypoint directly on copper plates using a variety of images.
The title was selected after the theme of anatomy became evident in a number of images the artist created. The published portfolio has no table for plates; nor does it identify the plates by number or title. During preparations for the 1994 catalogue raisonné, however, Bourgeois arranged the plates in the order she preferred, with imagery proceeding generally from head to foot. She also assigned titles at that time.
"These breasts go together with the heads... This also could be hanging from a string and could turn. The person who does this is in a spirit of showing off... she is proud of her figure, so it is multiplied."
Pointing to a nipple, Bourgeois said: "This is very small, very dainty. It is positive... it is a little pearl... it is a pristine girl. This is a precise situation." In contrast, Bourgeois referred to her sculpture "Mamelles" (1991), seen in Related Works in Other Mediums below. "Those breasts are enormous... they are like big udders. They refer to the good, nourishing mother." (Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 168)
The prints in this portfolio can be shown as a group or individually. There is no required sequence.
This the only etched plate in the portfolio, apparently because Bourgeois had a prepared plate readily available that had been left by Benjamin Shiff, director of Osiris, New York, during the period prior to preparations for the project "the puritan."
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 100
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Centro Cultural / Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City Des Moines Art Center, Iowa The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (published impression and an impression outside the edition titled "Breasts") Philadelphia Museum of Art Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
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