Bourgeois began making prints in the late 1930s, first experimenting at home with relief techniques, and then learning lithography at the Art Students League. She practiced intaglio techniques, which she preferred, at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17, and also bought her own small press. When she turned to sculpture later in the 1940s, Bourgeois abandoned printmaking, taking it up again only in the late 1980s, when it then became integral to her work.
“There is no rivalry.... They say
the same things in different ways.”
Paris Review. 1993. Aquatint and drypoint, with gouache additions
The effects of aquatint can resemble watercolor, and Bourgeois usually worked in this technique if her source drawing included watercolor or other tonal areas. The suggestion would come from a professional printer, such as Felix Harlan of Harlan & Weaver... More
Bourgeois turned to digital technologies for printmaking when her 2002 fabric book, Ode à l’oubli, was editioned. Judith Solodkin of SOLO Impression, a longtime friend of Bourgeois’s, was called upon to determine the means of duplicating that unique volume, which is filled with sewn collages of varying materials and patterns... More
The technique of screenprint is usually selected for its bold and assertive flat surfaces. While these were not effects Bourgeois usually sought in her printmaking, she was attracted to the technique through the suggestion of printers with whom she worked... More
Crochet III, from the series, Crochet I-V. 1997. Mixografia
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