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Image credit Paris Review - :State VIII of VIII - 1994 © Louise Bourgeois

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PublishedJune 10, 2017 at 08:39pm
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Louise Bourgeois

An Unfolding PortraitThe Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture, New York, United-States
Sunday September 24, 2017 - Sunday January 28, 2018 - Event ended.

Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait explores the prints, books, and creative process of the celebrated sculptor Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010). Bourgeois’s printed oeuvre, a little-known aspect of her work, is vast in scope and comprises some 1,400 printed compositions, created primarily in the last two decades of her life but also at the beginning of her career, in the 1940s. The Museum of Modern Art has a prized archive of this material, and the exhibition will highlight works from the collection along with rarely seen loans. A special installation will fill the Museum’s Atrium.

Untitled, from the installation, À l'infini. 2008. Soft ground etching, with hand additions. Sheet: 40 × 60″ (101.6 × 152.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased with funds provided by Agnes Gund, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Marlene Hess and Jim Zirin, Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, and Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer and Richard S. Zeisler Bequest (by exchange). © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY
Louise Bourgeois, Felix Harlan Louise Bourgeois 2008
Forêt (Night Garden) - 1953 © Louise Bourgeois
Clamart - marble and wood 47 x 29 x 30 in. 119.4 x 73.7 x 76.2 cm. © Louise Bourgeois
Paris Review - :State VIII of VIII - 1994 © Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, from the illustrated book, the puritan. 1990. Engraving, with hand additions. Page: 26 x 19 7/8″ (66 x 50.5 cm) COURTESY: THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK. GIFT OF LOUIS BOURGEOIS © 2017 THE EASTON FOUNDATION/LICENSED BY VAGA, NY
Louise Bourgeois. Untitled, from the portfolio, Ode à ma mère. 1995. Drypoint. Sheet: 11 13/16 x 11 13/16″ (30 x 30 cm) COURTESY: MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, GIFT OF LOUIS BOURGEOIS © 2017 THE EASTON FOUNDATION/LICENSED BY VAGA, NY
Louise Bourgeois, Janus fleuri, 1968 Bronze, patine dorée, pièce suspendue, 25,7 x 31,7 x 21,3 cm Collection de l’artiste Photo Christopher Burke © Adagp, Paris
Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, Sans titre, 1996 Vêtements, bronze, os, caoutchouc et acier, 300,40 x 208,3 x 195,6 cm Collection de l’artiste Photo Allan Finkelman © Adagp, Paris
Louise Bourgeois, The Reticent Child, 2003 Installation de 6 éléments en tissu, marbre, acier inoxydable et aluminium, 182,8 x 284,4 x 91,4 cm Collection de l’artiste Photo Christopher Burke © Adagp, Paris
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The artist’s creative process is the organizing principle behind the exhibition. Over the course of her career, Bourgeois constantly revisited the themes of her art, all of which emerged from emotions she struggled with for a lifetime. Also, she said there was no “rivalry” between the mediums in which she worked, noting that “they say the same thing in different ways.” Here, her prints and illustrated books will be seen in the context of related sculptures, drawings, and paintings, and within thematic groupings that explore motifs of architecture, the body, and nature, as well as investigations of abstraction and works made from old garments and household fabrics. In addition, the evolving states and variants of her prints will be emphasized in order to reveal Bourgeois’s creative thinking as it unfolded.

Bringing together some 220 works, the exhibition celebrates the Museum’s archive of Bourgeois prints as well as the completion of the online catalogue raisonné, Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books, available now in process at, and ultimately documenting over 4,600 printed sheets in all.

Organized by Deborah Wye, Chief Curator Emerita, Prints and Illustrated Books, with Sewon Kang, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Special thanks to The Easton Foundation for its longstanding support of the Louise Bourgeois print archive at The Museum of Modern Art.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund.


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