Louise Bourgeois’s monumental sculpture Maman (1999) is installed by Neon and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) and available to the Greek public for viewing.
The iconic giant spider – one of the works that made the artist internationally famous – will be on display at SNFCC’s Esplanade for a seven-month period, with free entry to the public.
Collaborating for the first time, the two institutions aim to bring contemporary art closer to everyone, while fulfilling their goals of revitalising public space and improving citizens’ daily life. The SNFCC’s participation in the Maman installation is made possible by a recent grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the SNFCC’s 2022 operations and programming.
Through her art, Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) expressed her innermost thoughts and fears, worked through problems, and gave form to her emotions. In prints, drawings, textiles, installation, and, most famously, sculpture, Bourgeois explored themes of guilt, fear, memory, motherhood, and love. Bourgeois’s art was informed by her life, particularly her childhood years. She first made drawings of spiders in the late 1940s, and nearly 50 years later created the giant three-dimensional spiders for which she has become well-known.
Maman, standing at over 10 metres tall, was created for the Tate Modern’s first Turbine Hall commission in 2000, and was subsequently cast in an edition of bronze, stainless steel, and marble.
Bourgeois stated that the work was symbolic of her mother, a weaver and tapestry restorer. With 10 eggs in its abdomen, the sculpture embodies ideas of maternal protection. However, the artist’s relationship to motherhood was ambiguous, contradictory, and complex. Dominating its surroundings and teetering on rangy, segmented legs, Maman also evokes fear and suggests entrapment.
Despite working as a contemporary artist across seven decades, it was not until Bourgeois was 71 years of age, when she was the first female sculptor to have a retrospective at MoMA (1982), that her work attracted mainstream attention and recognition. Today, her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among many others. In 2022, an exhibition of her paintings will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
To promote access to the arts, the installation at the SNFCC will be accompanied by a wealth of parallel programming made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s (SNF) grant, which will include readings, educational and school programs, workshops for children and adults, and guided tours.
Info: Daily from March 30 to November 06, 2022, 06:00-24:00 Esplanade Free entrance