Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books
Advanced Search

View Works Chronologically:

Compositions (1,574)
Sheets (5,410)

& Series

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. The series is a close relative of the illustrated book, which Bourgeois occasionally issued in bound and unbound formats, or with an accompanying portfolio. Serial exploration is basic even to the technique of printmaking, where compositions are developed in stages, through evolving states. Bourgeois also took full advantage of this aspect of the medium, leaving behind the sequential traces of her creative process.

While the motifs Bourgeois explored in her specifically defined series are usually representational, some are abstract, with the imagery providing a music-like experience as shapes and colors unfold rhythmically. These, and all her series, are seen to particular advantage when the individual prints are installed together to present a “chapter” of her artistic thinking. In one such example, The Fragile, of 2007, Bourgeois made a group of 36 individual prints that she actually considered one work of art, with sheets to be installed in a specific sequence.

...feather thoughts…They come
slowly…they are like notes.
Little by little the notes build up
and become final statements.”
—Louise Bourgeois
Untitled, no. 1-9 of 36, from the series The Fragile. 2007. Digital prints and screenprints with dye additions
View all Portfolios & Series