Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Typewriter Eraser, Scale XNational Gallery of Art
Sculpture Garden
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Louise Bourgeois, Spider Louise Bourgeois
American, born 1911, France
Spider, 1996, cast 1997
bronze with silver nitrate patina
Gift of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation 1997.136.1

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. From drawings to large-scale installations, Bourgeois' spiders appear as looming and powerful protectresses, yet are nurturing, delicate, and vulnerable.
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