NEW YORK, NY.-
Two years after her first solo show Louise Bourgeois completed this extraordinary portfolio of nine engravings with accompanying text, written in the form of parables, printed at the world-renowned Atelier 17 in New York.
He Disappeared Into Complete Silence crosses the narrow divide between Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism and echoes themes that occupied the artist for much of her life: childhood trauma, hidden emotion, loneliness, fear, anger, sexuality and fragility.
The work, on offer in Swann Auction Galleries
November 15 Contemporary Art sale in New York, appeared towards the end of the period in the 1930s and 40s when Bourgeois focused on printmaking, a medium she would then abandon until much later in her life. Following its completion she turned her attention to wood totems that recall some of the imagery here.
Inspired by the skyscrapers that impressed her when she arrived in New York from Paris in 1938, she creates stark, figure-like constructions set in plain landscapes, with two very different illustrations, one of ladders in an interior, the other what appears to be a surreal roofscape.
Reflecting the transition from her life in Paris to New York, the work reflects her initial isolation, having left behind her friends.
Bourgeois is among the top-selling female artists in the world, and this signed Artists Proof it is one of only 19 known copies is estimated at $250,000-350,000.
Other highlights in the auction include works by David Hockney, Sonia Delaunay and William Copley.