Since 1984 Louise Bourgeois has been developing a body of work with the spider as protagonist.
For the artist, whose work has explored themes of childhood memory and loss, the spider carries associations of a maternal figure. Indeed, Bourgeois’ “Spider” series relates to her own mother who died when the artist was twenty-one. The allusion to her mother as a weaver refers to the Bourgeois family’s tapestry restoration business, in which her mother was the chief seamstress.
From drawings to large-scale installations, Bourgeois’ spiders appear as looming and powerful protectresses, yet are nurturing, delicate, and vulnerable.