2 known variant impressions of version 1, state II
Proof before the editioning of version 2, only state.
State Changes and Additions:
Matrices: The progression of version 1, as seen in the Evolving Composition Diagram below, involved 3 plates.
Plate 1: overall composition; printed in black, blue, or red.
Plate 2: details in figures’ hair, faces, and shoes; printed in red.
Plate 3: details in figures’ faces, shading in spirals and in female figures’ hair and shoes, horizon line; printed in red.
State Changes: Plate 1 printed in black. Changes from version 1, state I, in drypoint: second couple added on the left.
Version 2 of this composition was published as a benefit for The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia to help fund the 2001-02 exhibition "Louise Bourgeois at the Hermitage." It was the first time the work of a living American artist was shown at this venue. Julie Sylvester curated the exhibition and published the print under the imprint, Bermuda Editions. A reproduction of the print (version 1, state IV, variant 1 in the Evolving Composition Diagram, below) formed the cover of a special edition of the exhibition catalogue: Sylvester, Julie and Mikhail Piotrovsky. "Louise Bourgeois at the Hermitage." St. Petersburg: The State Hermitage Museum, 2001.
The inscription and sketch the artist added to this impression refer to the composition "Embracing the Tree," illustrated below in Related Works in the Catalogue.
The imagery of wrapped couples in this composition is related to a performance piece Bourgeois created in 1992. At that time, she executed a 178-foot long cloth banner with a red screen-printed text, titled "She Lost It." The text comprises a self-authored parable. (See "She Lost It" below in Related Works in the Catalogue.) On December 5, 1992, the artist orchestrated a multi-part performance in Philadelphia with the banner as the centerpiece. The performance began with the banner fully wrapped around a single performer. Slowly the banner was unwrapped by other performers and re-wrapped around a standing and embracing couple. The parable printed on the banner could be read by the audience as the unwrapping and re-wrapping took place. When the embracing couple was fully wrapped by the banner, it looked very much like one of the "Couples" in this composition.
MoMA Credit Line:
Gift of the artist
MoMA Accession Number:
This Work in Other Collections:
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
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