2 known variant impressions of version 1, state IV
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 blue over plate 2 printed in red. Changes from version 1, state III, in soft ground etching: detail added to figures’ faces and hair; shoes reinforced.
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 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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