Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait

Prints, Books, and the Creative Process



ISBN: 9781633450417 Category:

Deborah Wye, Jerry Gorovoy, Felix Harlan, Benjamin Shiff


The first publication to fully survey Louise Bourgeois’s printmaking, a major component of her artistic practice.

Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait explores the prints, books and creative process of the celebrated sculptor Louise Bourgeois whose printed oeuvre, while lesser known than other aspects of her work, is vast in scope and comprises some 1,400 printed compositions. Over the course of her career, Bourgeois constantly revisited the themes and motifs of her art – all of which emerged from troubling emotions she struggled with for a lifetime. This investigation reveals the creative process underlying her artistic practice through evolving states for print compositions, as well as through the juxtaposition of works in different mediums and from different periods of her long career. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, the book features over 250 prints organized thematically and placed within the context of the artist’s sculpture, drawings and paintings. The book also sheds light on the collaborative relationships between Bourgeois and her printmaking associates who often came to her home studio to work with her there – sometimes on a daily basis – pulling trial proofs from printing presses she kept in her basement. Interviews with Bourgeois’s primary assistant, with whom she worked for decades, as well as with a printer and a publisher, each of whom helped foster her creative engagement with the medium, provide insight into her working process.

Additional information

Weight 1488 g
Dimensions 23.5 x 27.4 cm
Publisher name The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date 1 December 2017
Number of pages 248
Format Hardback
Dimensions 23.5 x 27.4 cm
Weight 1488 g


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Deborah Wye is the Chief Curator Emerita of Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Jerry Gorovoy is the president of The Easton Foundation, and was Bourgeois' long-time assistant.

Felix Harlan, a printer in the New York-based workshop, Harlan & Weaver, collaborated with the artist from 1989 until the last year of her life.

Benjamin Shiff is the director of Osiris, with whom Bourgeois published many important print projects.