November 18, 2015 - The Museum of Modern Art, New York - Major relaunch of Louise Bourgeois website
November 18, 2015

Major relaunch of Louise Bourgeois website

Major relaunch of Louise Bourgeois website​

The Museum of Modern Art launched its interactive site on the prints and illustrated books of Louise Bourgeois in 2012, with 400 works available for study. Research and cataloguing has continued since then and is uploaded as it is finalized. Presently, Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books includes nearly 3,000 works; at completion, the number will approach 4,000. With the current relaunch, the website now also contains all of its architecture and functionality. In particular, a new home page features 14 interactive thematic categories, fundamental to an understanding of Bourgeois’s work overall.

A Thematic Approach to Bourgeois’s Work
Louise Bourgeois is known not only for her stylistic range, but also for a continuing focus on deeply felt emotions of pain, jealousy, anger, anxiety, and loneliness. She described her art as an “exorcism,” with a relentless effort “to dig and to reveal.” This approach yielded motifs that recur again and again as potent symbols of personal expression. The new version of the website singles out the themes that preoccupied Bourgeois: Abstraction; Animals & Insects; Architecture; Body Parts; Fabric Works; Faces & Portraits; Figures; Motherhood & Family; Music; Nature; Objects; Spiders; Spirals; and Words. The site also gives special attention to sculptures and drawings related to these themes, in order to provide a broader context for the artist’s prints. 

Bourgeois and Printmaking
Early in her career, Bourgeois was devoted to painting and printmaking, even owning a small printing press. Once she turned definitively to sculpture in the late 1940s, she continued to draw incessantly but abandoned printmaking and painting. Some four decades later, her interest in prints was revived when, as a more recognized artist, she began to receive invitations from publishers to undertake print projects. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she entered an intense period of collaboration with several printers and publishers that lasted until the end of her life in 2010. She set up her old printing press in the basement of her house, and later added a second one.

Website Searching Options
The Louise Bourgeois website is geared not only to specialists, but also the general art public. It provides an introduction to Bourgeois’s work, as well as an in-depth exploration of her prints and books. In one popular section, “About the Artist,” users find succinct biographical information and photographs of Bourgeois, as well as an illustrated chronology tracing the development of her work. There are also standard searching options by date and by title, as well as by print-related finding aides, such as the ability to locate works by “Printers & Publishers” and “Techniques,” or those within the category of “Books, Portfolios & Series.”  

A unique aspect of the website is its presentation of the artist’s creative process in a single glance. Each stage in the development of a composition is documented in a clearly designed “evolving composition diagram,” which also provides the option to compare and contrast works. The twists and turns of Bourgeois’s imagination are clearly charted: her prints sometimes evolved through as many as 20 states before she decided on her final composition. 

The Louise Bourgeois Catalogue Team
Louise Bourgeois’s prints constitute an archive in the MoMA collection that numbers over 3,000 sheets. That archive joins 38 drawings and 16 sculptures for a broad representation of the artist’s work. The online catalogue, Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books, is a collaborative effort: the curatorial team of cataloguers in MoMA’s Department of Drawings and Prints works closely with the Departments of Collection Exhibition and Technology and Digital Media. The Louise Bourgeois Studio provides additional research, the design firm Kiss Me I’m Polish is responsible for web design, and the digital agency CogApp for web development. The project is directed by Deborah Wye, Chief Curator Emerita, Prints and Illustrated Books, and supported by The Easton Foundation. 

Visit to learn about Louise Bourgeois and her creative process.


Major relaunch of MoMA’s Louise Bourgeois website
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
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