Maman (“mother” in French), created in 1999 by French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, is one of the world’s largest sculptures. Measured over 30 ft high and over 33 ft wide, the mammoth artwork consists of a sac containing 26 marble eggs, the abdomen and thorax which are made up of ribbed bronze. The sculpture was dedicated to Bourgeois’ mother whom she lost in age of 21.
The friend (the spider – why the spider?) because my best friend was my mother and she was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, and as useful as a spider. She could also defend herself, and me, by refusing to answer ‘stupid’, inquisitive, embarrassing, personal questions.— says Louise Bourgeois.
The giant spider was made for the opening of Tate Modern, UK in May 2000 as part of Bourgeois’s commission for the Turbine Hall, the grand central space of the museum. The sublime sculpture has been installed all over the world since 1999, receiving mixed reactions of amazement and amusement.