June 5, 2008


Set amid the peaceful Jardins des Tuileries (the gardens of the Louvre), where little boys and girls float wooden boats in the grandiose fountain and adults lounge about on metal reclining chairs, is a 30-foot spider.

The spider's name, according to the artist, Louise Bourgeois, is Maman. This tribute to her mother is among a whole series of arachnid pieces dedicated to the same.

To say the least, her piece is shocking. Visceral. Strolling along, it is alarming to come upon such a spider, planted ever so naturally, as if she herself just showed up. Such a reaction is not uncommon to the artwork of Louise Bourgeois. But, as an interesting piece on her in Le Figaro emphasizes: Entrer chez Louise Bourgeois, c'est accepter le rêve éveillé, l'effroi et le merveilleux, la répugnance et la douceur, la conscience de soi et l'étrangeté de la vie. To enter into her work is to accept the awoken dream, terror and the sublime, repugnance and gentleness, self-awareness and the strangeness of life.

Other macabre pieces of hers are entitled things like "The Lair" and, below, "Le Regard" (The Stare):

And here she is encircled. The stirring, 97-year-old, Louise Bourgeois.


Maria Petrova said...

Amazing! All I'd seen by here are these pretty, geometric modernist sculptures... Thank you for posting this!

Anonymous said...

no, no, enough of the spiders, they're everywhere, now in the tuileries too? we have a nice big terrifying one at roppongi hills. they're multiplying!

I love surrealism but in books and paintings and small-scale installations. not as giant arachnids invading my environment. In that sense-- the sense of interruption-- it's a highly successful surrealist endeavor. but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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