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‘One day in 2007,’ recalls Jean Frémon about a visit to artist Louise Bourgeois’s studio, ‘I discovered an entirely new series of drawings…. silhouettes of women with embryos in their wombs, drawn with a brush full of water and red gouache. These drawings were, for me, the most poignant of her long career. Each time I visited, Louise would ask me about what I was writing. … I said: it’s the story of the first painter who had the idea of representing the baby Jesus completely naked rather than in swaddling clothes…. Louise asked me for the text, which I sent to her. When I next came to visit her, five drawings were awaiting me to illustrate the book. The French edition was published by Fata Morgana on 25 December 2009, the birthday not only of Jesus, but also of Louise Bourgeois. Several weeks later, Louise signed the fifteen books that made up the limited edition.’
The nativity that Frémon’s work is deeply indebted to and preoccupied with is that of artistic ideas – the naissance of a way of thinking, of seeing, of representing – and the cultural precedent they subsequently set in motion (…) Frémon’s inclusion of Bourgeois’ drawings not only speaks directly into art history’s marked exclusion and omission of women from this tradition, but also rights it by having Bourgeois have her say on birth and motherhood. Translated by Cole Swensen.
Published by Les Fugitives
Softcover, with French flaps
120 x 117 mm