Spider expected to fetch over $25 million at auction | Arts | DW | 28.10.2015
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Spider expected to fetch over $25 million at auction

Christie's is dressing up for Halloween: A huge bronze spider will be watching over the US auction house as of October 31. The upcoming sale of the artwork could set a world record for a sculpture by a female artist.

"Spider," the iconic giant sculpture by the French artist Louise Bourgeois, could fetch up to $35 million (about 32 million euros) at an upcoming auction, said the New York auction house Christie's on Tuesday (27.10.2015).

Just in time for Halloween, the 7-meter (23-foot) high bronze arachnid will watch over the auction house's headquarters on Rockefeller Plaza from October 31 through its upcoming sale on November 10. (The picture above shows one of Bourgeois's arachnid sculptures in front of the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Germany in 2012).

In 2011, just a year after Bourgeois's death, another version of the Spider sculpture was sold for $10.7 million. If this sculpture reaches its auction target, it will not only surpass Bourgeois's current record sale, but set a new worldwide record for a sculpture by a female artist.

The spider as a mother and a hooker

Although spiders are a source of extreme panic for some and are associated with cult horror films, for Bourgeois, the figure surprisingly symbolizes her own mother. She also weaved webs, as she worked in a textile restoration workshop.

"My mother was my best friend. She was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, and useful as a spider," Bourgeois wrote in an essay.

Bourgeois had already started depicting spiders in 1947. Her reflexion on the figure evolved throughout her career spanning nearly eight decades: "A long time ago I also associated the spider with the hooker. The prostitute and my mother, they were victims of their physical frailty. This is the connection. They were victims of their tiny size," she said.

eg/kbm (dpa, www.christies.com)

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