85; plus 20 A.P., 5 H.C., and a portfolio version with an edition of 40
"EA III" lower center colophon, pencil, unknown hand.
There are 3 known impressions of version 2, only state, outside the editions; only one is illustrated due to the similarity of the others to the impressions seen here.
The illustrated books numbered 1/25-25/25 in the edition of 85 are accompanied by a portfolio of 7 prints (the 5 compositions represented in the book and 2 additional compositions). The remaining 60 illustrated books in the edition are numbered 26/85-85/85 and are not accompanied by portfolios. The A.P. illustrated books (A.P. I-X of XX) and the H.C. illustrated books (H.C. 1-5) are accompanied by the portfolio of 7 prints. In all, there are 40 illustrated books accompanied by portfolios.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1, only state, in drypoint: image transferred to new plate; thickness of lines diminished; toes reconfigured.
Plate: page 1 of folio 17.
Illustrated Book: 96 unnumbered pages in 24 folios (sheets folded once and comprising 4 pages). Folios numbered 2-24 (first folio unnumbered). Plates interspersed.
Printer of Text:
SAIG, L'Haÿ-les-Roses, France
Unbound. Publisher's clamshell box: red fabric with yellow embroidery.
“Metamorfosis” is a collaboration initiated by Maria Fluxà, a Spanish gallery owner and collector. Fluxà first encountered Bourgeois’s work at the 1982 MoMA retrospective and felt a particular emotional connection to the “Femme Maison.” She then began enthusiastically collecting Bourgeois’s work, which she displayed in her gallery, Lluc Fluxà, in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). Taking inspiration from Bourgeois's themes of memory, identity, and trauma, Fluxà also staged a performance at her gallery titled “Götterdämmerung” that dealt with her own upbringing.
In 1993, Fluxà met Bourgeois at the MoMA opening of a Joan Miró exhibition, introducing herself as an admirer and collector. She later visited the artist, which led to discussions about a possible collaboration between the two.
Bourgeois had a sympathetic response to Fluxà’s difficult relationship with her father, a problem she shared. After meeting over the next several years, she agreed to participate in a collaborative work that became the illustrated book entitled, "Metamorfosis." Here, Fluxà creates a fusion of words and imagery that conflates her own identity with that of the artist. Bourgeois allowed images of her work to contribute to this fusion, and also created five prints especially for the volume. The book was published by Galerie Lelong, Paris, in 1999. For a deluxe edition, the volume was accompanied by a portfolio with two additional prints, making a total of seven compositions created by Bourgeois in conjunction with this project.
In 2005, Fluxà and Dolors Caballero organized the exhibition and catalogue, "Louise Bourgeois: Repairs in the sky" at the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, in Mallorca. In 2008, Fluxà and Caballero also organized "La Sage Femme: Louise Bourgeois," an exhibition and catalogue of Fluxà's collection of Bourgeois works, at Sala Espacio AV, in Murcia (Spain).
Inscribed on the verso of the source drawing: "If you / wear / talon en / aiguille / it makes / you / very / sexy" center right sheet, blue ink, artist's hand.
The prints in this illustrated book and the portfolio version can be shown as a group or individually.
Bourgeois worked with the printer Harlan & Weaver, New York, to develop the compositions in "Metamorfosis." The plates were then turned over to the printer Atelier Tanguy Garric, Paris, for editioning and publication by Galerie Lelong, Paris.
The imagery of anthropomorphized shoes is believed to be in reference to the important shoe manufacturing business owned by Fluxà’s family. The family business was run by Fluxà’s patriarchal father and contributed largely to her feelings of inferiority, addressed in both her performance and in “Metamorfosis.”
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