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Lot 2

Louise Bourgeois

The Puritan, 1990
llustrated book pages, bound, 32 pages,
8 hand-painted etchings on paper and texts by the artist
60 × 52.8 × 5 cm
Signature: Signed
Edition: 45/75

Estimate: €20,000 - €30,000
Sold for: €62,000
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.
Provenance: Donated by Galerie Karsten Greve St. Moritz Paris Köln

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) grew up near Paris. After studying mathematics, Bourgeois attended art schools in Paris. In 1938 she married the New York art historian Robert Goldwater and moved to New York, where she raised three sons with him. Bourgeois initially focused on painting and print- making, only turning her attention to sculpture in the late 1940s. Writing, which she pursued almost obsessively, and drawing thereby always remained key forms of expression for the artist.

In 1990 Louise Bourgeois published an illustrated book titled The Puritan, in which she paired a text she had written in 1947 with a series of eight new, hand-coloured engravings. The text is an enigmatic parable about a lost love, set in New York City. Bourgeois described the ordered geometry of the images as a tool of objective understanding: “With The Puritan, I analysed an episode forty years after it happened. I could see things from a distance [...] I put it on a grid.” The text may have biographical implications; Bourgeois had referred to her friend Alfred H. Barr, Jr., the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, as a “puritan”. 

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