"EA III/X" lower center colophon, pencil, unknown hand. "EA III/X" lower left margin of each sheet, pencil, unknown hand.
Beige linen folder with flaps, lined with cream paper; "LOUISE / BOURGEOIS" engraved on white label affixed to cover. Housing modeled after that of the illustrated book "He Disappeared into Complete Silence".
Portfolio: Since Galerie Lelong was exhibiting Bourgeois's sculpture, Jean Frémon, a gallery director, proposed undertaking a print project with her. It was decided to reprint plates executed earlier and still in Bourgeois's possession, because this work was unknown to the public. In 1990, after the plates had been stored for more than forty years, they were newly printed by Piero Crommelynck, and published for this portfolio. Only "Quarantania" (9), titled "Bosom Lady" in the 1940s, was reworked in 1990 by the artist.
The 1990 reprints differ in appearance from the 1940s impressions, due to corrosion of the plates and accidental scratching over time. Also, professional printing with uniform inking and wiping creates a darker plate tone. The prints were gathered in a portfolio to represent the work from the 1940s, with the title "Quarantania," deriving from the French "quarante," meaning "forty."
In preparing this project, proofs were also pulled from other old plates in the artist's possession. However, the poor condition of those plates made it impossible to achieve acceptable impressions (see "Youth," 1941-1944; "Laurel Easton," 1944; "Dame," 1948; and "The Burner," 1948). Proofs were also pulled from a 1970s and a 1980s plate. These were editioned and published as "Spirales," c. 1974, and "Femme Maison," 1984. Bourgeois chose a cover resembling that of "He Disappeared into Complete Silence," 1947 because she saw "Quarantania" as a continuation of that work.
The 9 compositions that make up this portfolio can be exhibited together, in any order, or individually.
The colophon for the “Quarantania” portfolio states that the plates were engraved by Bourgeois at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 workshop in 1947. However, dates for the compositions vary and the fact that all were engraved and printed at Hayter’s workshop could not be confirmed. At this time, Bourgeois also worked on prints at home with a small press.
Former Cat. No.:
W & S 5, 26, 23, 25, 4, 22, 24, 27, 28
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Paris Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (Impression no. 17/50)
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