Louise Bourgeois’ Giant Spider to Arrive at Christie’s Just in Time For Halloween

Will it make auction history?

Photo: Courtesy Christie's.

Photo: Courtesy Christie’s.

Anyone want to go trick or treating at Christie’s this year?

Just in time for Halloween, Louise Bourgeois‘s iconic Spider (1997) will temporarily take up residence outside the New York auction house from October 31–November 12. The spider’s stay will culminate in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on November 11, where it is being offered with an estimate of $25 million–35 million.

If the work hits its target, it will far surpass Bourgeois’s current auction record of $10.7 million, which was set at Christie’s in 2011, the year after her death, for a different edition of Spider. It will also set the international auction record for the sale of a sculpture by a female artist.

One of Louise Bourgeois's spiders at Storm King. Photo: Flickr.

One of Louise Bourgeois’s spiders at Storm King.
Photo: Flickr.

The work was acquired in 1997 by its present owner, who remains anonymous, and has been displayed at Fondazione Prada in Milan, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as various other locations around the globe. (It is number 3 from an edition of six.)

The spindly arachnid is likely to draw both joy and terror from passersby near Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza headquarters, due to its monstrous form, but for Bourgeois, her motherly spiders contain more complex, autobiographical implications.

In a 1995 essay titled “Ode à ma mere (Ode to My Mother),” Bourgeois wrote: “My best friend was my mother and she was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat, and as useful as a spider.”

In a 2010 interview, Bourgeois followed up on this idea to the Guardian: “I came from a family of repairers. The spider is a repairer. If you bash into the web of a spider, she doesn’t get mad. She weaves and repairs it.”

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