Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books
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Compositions (1,574)
Sheets (5,410)

& Series

The history of printmaking has long encompassed illustrated books and thematic series, the latter sometimes housed in portfolios. Louise Bourgeois was well aware of these traditions through her family’s collecting. As a young woman, she acquired prints and illustrated books for the sales area she established in her father’s tapestry gallery in Paris. Also, in New York in the 1950s, she opened a short-lived shop, Erasmus Books and Prints. With this background, it is not surprising Bourgeois created her own illustrated books and print portfolios.

Illustrated Books

Louise Bourgeois admired illustrated books as objects, often slowly turning their pages to relish the artistic contributions, the typography, and the overall design. She was also a reader—of literary works, psychology, history, and mythology; her many bouts of insomnia were often mitigated with reading... More
You try and you try…
suddenly it gets there. I didn’t
know it would turn out
that way. It is a mystery.”
—Louise Bourgeois

Portfolios & Series

Louise Bourgeois’s thematic approach to creating art lent itself to the traditional printmaking practice of issuing prints in series format, sometimes grouped together within a portfolio cover. This format allowed Bourgeois to sequence her prints into visual narratives, or simply assemble them as compendiums of related imagery... More