Sunday, June 19, 2011

Maman: Louise Bourgeois — Ottawa Spider

Foreground: Louise Bourgeois's spider;
Background: Canada's Parliament Buildings   © SB

Lurching across the courtyard of Ottawa's National Gallery, Louise Bourgeois's stainless steel, bronze and marble spider extends more than 30 feet high, its legs almost too spindly to hold its monstrous body and massive egg sac.

Created in 1999, cast in 2003, it was bought by the National Gallery in 2004. Other versions perch at galleries around the world — Morgan has seen the steel original at London's Tate Modern, and a copy in Paris.

Maman: Mother. 

Nurturing, protective 
symbol of fertility
shelter, home 

betrays maternal trust
incites curiosity

—  extracted from the Gallery's descriptive plaque. 


I was also delighted to tour an exhibit of Bourgeois's other work at the Gallery last week — her carved Personages, drawings, large wire cage, and fabric works.


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