Louise Bourgeois: Maman (VIDEO)

10/18/2011 03:39 pm ET | Updated Dec 16, 2011

On the occasion of the Louise Bourgeois exhibition at Fondation Beyeler, the museum is showing the artist's famous sculpture Maman. This video documents the installation of Louise Bourgeois' giant spider sculpture in the garden of Fondation Beyeler in Riehen (Basel, Switzerland). The video shows how the legs of the spider are assembled, and how the different parts of the sculpture - legs, body, eggs, head - are put together and how the sculpture is erected.

Louise Bourgeois' Maman is one of the best-known works of the artist and the highlight of the exhibition, which the Fondation Beyeler has mounted in honor of her 100th birthday on December 25, 2011. The exhibition was planned together with the artist who died on May 31, 2010 and emerged in collaboration with the Louise Bourgeois Studio. It is curated by Ulf Küster, curator at the Fondation Beyeler. The exhibition opened on 3rd September and runs until 8th January 2012.

Bourgeois began using the spider as central image in her art in the late 1990s. Maman was first shown in Louise Bourgeois' exhibition at the Tate Modern as unique steel and marble sculpture in 2000. Subsequently an edition of six bronzes was cast by the artist. Bronze casts of Maman are on permanent display at The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Mori Art Center Tokyo, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

According to the artist, "The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother." (Source: Tate Modern)

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