Greeting: Laughing Monster, 1946 (printed 1990)

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Trained in Paris, Bourgeois immigrated to New York in 1938, where she began a career as a sculptor and printmaker that spanned more than seventy years. Her work ranges from representation to pure abstraction, often revealing the influences of Surrealism and the New York school, especially in her use of memory, dreams, emotion, and the formal language of abstraction. Despite her affinity for using abstract imagery, Bourgeois always rooted her art in real-world experiences that were often drawn from childhood memories.

Louise Bourgeois was a prodigious printmaker who worked in a range of graphic media that included intaglio, woodcut, screenprint, and lithography. "Quarantania," a portfolio of nine intaglio prints, was produced and published in 1990 as a reprinting of a group of plates that Bourgeois originally completed between 1942 and 1948. The portfolio represents some of the artist’s earliest efforts in the medium, a time she freely experimented with imagery and ideas while adjusting to her new life in the United States.

The prints were never formally editioned until the 1990 publication, though a few impressions were pulled from the original plates for friends and associates. The portfolio’s title—"Quarantania"—is derived from the French quarante, meaning “forty,” a reference to the 1940s.

Details
Title
Greeting: Laughing Monster
Artist Life
American (born France),1911-2010
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2014.12.2.1
Provenance
(Montgomery Glasoe Fine Art, Minneapolis; sold to Root 1998); Michael and Tamara Root, Minneapolis, 1998-2014; given to MIA, 2014
Catalogue Raisonne
see W & S 5: MoMA 533
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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