Carolina Nitsch

Louise Bourgeois - Livres d'Artiste

Louise Bourgeois - Livres d'Artiste

This collection focuses on a selection of artist's books by Louise Bourgeois, which were an integral part of her serial working method. Bourgeois was well aware of the tradition of artists books through her family's collection and she even ran a short-lived shop, Erasmus Books and Prints in New York in the 1950s. Her most ambitious early work was the small illustrated book containing her own parables, titled "He Disappeared into Complete Silence". The book and prints set out themes she pursued for the rest of her life. One can clearly see the similarities between the totemic, building like form in the etchings and the sculptures Bourgeois was creating at this time.

This is “a drama of the self.... It is about the fear of going overboard and hurting others. Controlling oneself is always the goal… so one will not project one's own violence on others." Bourgeois felt that ''the whole trend of this book is about the lowering of self-esteem. It is a descent… a descent into depression. But I believe in resurrection in the morning. This is a withdrawal, but it is temporary. You lose your self esteem, but you pull yourself up again. This is about survival… about the will to survive."

Image Credit:

Louise Bourgeois, Ode a la Bievre, 2007

"You can stand anything if you write it down. You must do it to get hold of yourself. When space is limited, or when you have to stay with a child, you always have recourse to writing. All you need is a pen and paper. But you must redirect your concentration. 'Sarcastic or self-defeating toward the self.... Words put in connection can open up new relations… a new view of things."

-Quotes cited in Wye, Deborah and Carol Smith. "The Prints of Louise Bourgeois." New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1994, p. 72.

Louise Bourgeois

He Disappeared into Complete Silence

1947-2005

Each: 10 x 14 inches (25.4 x 35.6 cm)

Suite of eleven engravings with hand coloring. Original text pages and colophon printed in 1947, in cloth bound folio

Signed and numbered on colophon page. Each print initialed LB in pencil

Edition of 30

$185,000

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois

Ode à ma mere

1995

Box: 12 ¼ x 12 ½ x 2 inches (31.2 x 32 x 5.1 cm)

Illustrated, unbound book with 9 compositions: 9 drypoints, 1 with monoprinting and embossing, plus 1 with roulette, and 8 with selective wiping; on smooth, wove Hahnemühle paper Housed in folder and slipcase: beige linen lined with cream paper

Each print numbered and initialed.

Edition of 90

N/A

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois at the printing press, New York, 1995. Image: © Mathias Johansson.

Louise Bourgeois

Hours of the Day

2006

14 ⅝ x 11 7⁄8 x 2 ¾ inches (37.1 x 30.2 x 7 cm)

Cotton cloth book containing 25 hand sewn panels printed on both sides with archival dyes and hand embroidered LB in cloth bound case

Signed and numbered

Edition of 15

$190,000

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois

The Puritan

1990

29 x 20 x 3 inches (73.66 x 50.8 x 7.62 cm)

Illustrated artistbook with 8 engravings with chine-colle, and 8 text pages, handbound, in cloth covered Solander box

Signed and numbered on colophon page in pencil

Edition of 63 (25 volumes with hand additions; 38 volumes without hand additions)

$15,000

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois, The Puritan, 1990 [Detail]

Louise Bourgeois

The Puritan (handpainted)

1990

29 x 20 x 3 inches (73.66 x 50.8 x 7.62 cm)

Illustrated book of 8 engravings, with chine collé on Smooth, wove, handmade Twinrocker paper, with Japan Gampi chine collé; each with additions in watercolor and gouache.

Signed on colophon page in pencil

Edition of 63 (25 volumes with hand additions; 38 volumes without hand additions)

$60,000

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois

To Whom It May Concern

2010

17 ½ x 12 ¾ x 7 inches (44.5 x 32.4 x 17.8 cm)

Bound fabric book of archival dyes on cloth, padded, handsewn with text by Gary Indiana

Embroidered LB, signed by Gary Indiana

Edition of 7

$175,000

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois and the metronome
New York, 1995. Image: © Mathias Johansson.

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Ode a la Bievre

Louise Bourgeois

2007

11 ½ x 16 inches (30 x 40.6 cm)

Clothbound book with 25 color facsimiles, accompanied by two loose photographs

The garden of Anthony 1921 and The Bievre River 1951, each initialed and numbered verso, printed on Verona paper, in slipcase; book also signed and numbered

Edition of 95

$7,000

Inquire
9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -
9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Louise Bourgeois

Homely Girl, A Life by Arthur Miller with images by Louise Bourgeois

1992

Each volume: 11 3/4 x 9 x 1/2"; 29.8 x 22.9 x 1.3 cm. Slipcase: 12 1/8 x 9 1/4 x 1 1/8"; 30.8 x 23.5 x 2.9 cm.

Two-volume illustrated book with ten drypoints and eight photolithographs

Edition of 100

$9,500

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9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Born in Paris in 1911, Louise Bourgeois was raised by parents who ran a tapestry restoration business. Bourgeois helped out in the workshop by drawing missing elements in on the tapestries. She met Robert Goldwater, an American art historian, in Paris and they married and moved to New York in 1938. The couple raised three sons. Early on, Bourgeois focused on painting and printmaking, turning to sculpture only in the later 1940s. In 1982, at 70 years old, Bourgeois's work was featured in a retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art. The intensity of her work grew from this point and she creating the monumental spiders, for which she is best known, as well as eerie room-sized “Cells,” evocative figures often hanging from wires, and a range of fabric works fashioned from her old clothes. All the while she constantly made drawings on paper, day and night, and also returned to printmaking. Art was her tool for coping; it was an exorcism. As she put it, “Art is a guarantee of sanity.” Bourgeois died in New York in 2010, at the age of 98.

Full Biography
Curriculum Vitae

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Carolina Nitsch

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