Louise Bourgeois


Ode a la Bievre

Fabric book of 26 pages, signed and numbered on the colophon.
Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. In 1919, her family moved to the Parisian suburb of Antony where the Bièvre River “cut across the garden in a straight line”. The river was key to their relocation as it was imperative to the family’s business of tapestry restoration for the washing of the tapestries. In 2002, Bourgeois would distill her emotions and memories of the river and the garden in an important unique fabric book entitled ODE À LA BIÈVRE. In the book she reminisces through images and text, “With the soil from that river we planted geraniums, masses of peonies, and beds of asparagus …and honeysuckle that smelled so sweet in the rain.” Using her own garments as raw material to make sewn fabric collages, she evoked feelings and memories through lines, shapes and colors. Years later, Bourgeois was to go back to the house with her own family only to find the river to no longer exist, “only the trees that my father had planted along its edge remained as a witness”. This 2007 book faithfully reproduces that original fabric work. Each book is signed and numbered on the colophon and includes two signed photographs digitally printed on Verona paper and mounted on 300 gram watercolor paper with the respective titles: “The garden in Antony, 1921” and “The Bièvre River, 1951.” Housed in a blind embossed slip case each book is uniquely bound with hand dyed and distressed linen.