Maman, 1999, cast 2003
French, American, 1911 - 2010
bronze, stainless steel, and marble
927 x 891 x 1024 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41429)
© Louise Bourgeois
The extraordinary career of Louise Bourgeois has spanned close to eight decades and been associated with many major movements of the twentieth century, including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Feminism. Bourgeois' singular, and often autobiographical artistic vision transcends the personal to portray archetypal themes relating to the human condition. Inspired by the artist's own mother, a tapestry restorer, "Maman", the giant egg-carrying spider, is a nurturing and protective symbol of fertility and motherhood, shelter and the home. With its monumental and terrifying scale, however, "Maman" also betrays this maternal trust to incite a mixture of fear and curiosity.
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