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  • Literature

    Museum of Modern Art Cat. 656.2

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The poor devils are climbing up step by step; they are trying their best. This will become the Myth of Sisyphus." - Louise Bourgeois

    Version one of Slow Climb was made in 1946-47 as an unnumbered and unpublished engraving and drypoint. Years later, the composition from version one was transferred to a new matrix for version two using photogravure.

    This second version of Slow Climb made circa 1990, also unnumbered and unpublished, was printed by Deli Sacilotto of Iris Editions. Sacilotto is a master printer who specialized in the photogravure technique. Bourgeois met Sacilotto through mutual friends and established a warm relationship with him.

  • Artist Biography

    Louise Bourgeois

    French-American • 1911 - 2010

    Known for her idiosyncratic style, Louise Bourgeois was a pioneering and iconic figure of 20th and early 21st century art. A prolific sculptor, printmaker, draftsman, and painter, Bourgeois has been linked to Surrealism and Feminist art, though she developed a singular voice that betrays firm categorization to a specific art historical movement. Her artworks have been widely understood as visceral meditations of subjective states, such as loneliness, jealousy, pride, anger, fear, love, and longing. Employing diverse materials including metal, fabric, wood, plaster, paper, and paint in both intimate and monumental scales, she used recurring themes and subjects (animals, insects, architecture, the figure, text and abstraction) as form and metaphor to explore the fragility of relationships and the human body. Bourgeois’ works reside in major institutional collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Tate, London.

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Montée Difficile (Slow Climb): Version 2

circa 1990
Photogravure, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 7 1/4 x 5 in. (18.4 x 12.7 cm)
S. 15 x 11 in. (38.1 x 27.9 cm)

Signed with initials in pencil (one of two known impressions of version 2), printed by Iris Editions, New York, not issued as a published edition, framed.

$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $6,250

Contact Specialist
Kelly Troester
Worldwide Co-Head of Editions, Modern
+1 212 940 1221
[email protected]

Cary Leibowitz
Worldwide Co-Head of Editions, Contemporary
1 212 940 1222
[email protected]

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 23 - 24 July 2020