Louise Bourgeois:
The Complete Prints & Books

January 9, 2013

The Museum of Modern Art has launched Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books, a major
website documenting Bourgeois’s extensive work in the printmaking medium. This site offers a
range of innovative, interactive approaches to the artist’s work, including the ability to examine
her creative process, and to place her prints and illustrated books within the broader context of
her sculpture and drawings. When discussing the various mediums, Bourgeois said: “There is no
rivalry…they say the same things in different ways.” All of these works explore her fundamental
themes of loneliness, anxiety, fear, jealousy, anger, and pain.

In 1990, Bourgeois decided to donate a full archive of her printed work to MoMA. This includes
all completed compositions, as well as the many states and variations leading up to them.
Numbering some 3,500 sheets, this unique collection makes it possible to reconstruct the
artist’s step-by-step working methods. The website presents, diagrammatically, all the stages
of Bourgeois’s evolving compositions and reveals the myriad ways in which she altered shapes,
added tiny scratched lines, or experimented with vivid color, all in pursuit of a final vision. In
addition, individual works can be examined at close range through a “Zoom” feature—
particularly useful for studying prints—or compared and contrasted with a pioneering “Compare
Works” mode.