2 known variant impressions of version 1, state IV
Proof before the editioning of version 2, state IV.
According to the Louise Bourgeois Studio, the additional known variant impression of version 1, state IV, is also a variant, with red ink and white correction fluid additions. It is inscribed by the artist "To Rosamond and John - Love Louise Bourgeois" in red ink in the lower left margin. An image of that impression is not available. The inscription refers to the author and editor Rosamond Bernier (1916-2016) and her husband, art critic John Russell (1919-2008), who were close friends of Bourgeois.
State Changes and Additions:
Changes from version 1, state III, in drypoint: hair lengthened.
To create the editioned version of this composition, Bourgeois began with "The Obese Woman," which depicts a woman leaning on a column. She developed the image through a series of state changes before abandoning the idea of depicting a full figure. In the second version, "The Smile," only the top part of the composition was transferred to a new plate. Carbon transfers of the preexisting imagery were used to aid in the process of developing the reconfigured composition.
"The Smile" was editioned as the unbound frontispiece for the 2001 book "Louise Bourgeois: Destruction of the Father - Reconstruction of the Father, Schriften und Interviews, 1923-2000," seen below in Related Works in Other Mediums. Edited by Marie-Laure Bernadac and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and published by Ammann Verlag, Zurich, the German reissue is an updated version of the 1998 book published by Violette, London. The 2001 book is a hardcover and comes in a slipcase.
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