Additions in blue watercolor and pencil: tree branches extended, hair extended, and reinforced overall, anticipating state II. Additions in blue watercolor: shoes filled, anticipating state II; ground filled. Additions in correction fluid: shape of left shoe altered, anticipating state II. Additions in pencil and correction fluid: hands further articulated, anticipating state II.
According to Bourgeois’s assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, the subject of this composition came from a ritual instigated by the artist’s friend, Paulo Herkenhoff, a Brazilian curator and critic, in the late 1990s. In celebration of Easter, Herkenhoff, Gorovoy, and Bourgeois went into her backyard on Good Friday and each kissed the ground. After a few years, it was difficult for the artist to get down to the ground so they modified the ritual and began to embrace a tree instead.
In July 2000, "Interview," also known as "Andy Warhol’s Interview," commissioned seven artists to create work to be reproduced in the October 2000 issue of the magazine. The resulting portfolio, “Stop and Smell the Roses,” is described in the issue as “a reminder that awareness of life’s incredibleness makes each day a better one.” Bourgeois contributed "Embracing the Tree" state II, variant 3 seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram below. Cecily Brown, Pat Steir, Enzo Cucchi, Yoshitomo Nara, and the collaborative duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster also contributed work to the portfolio.
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