A Closer Look
Line is one of the main elements of design in Spider. Look how the lines lead up from the ground to the body of the spider. This is such a simple sculpture, yet its monumental size - its legs span more than 30 feet - makes it terrifying! Can you imagine how you would feel if it came to life? Find some wire or string and create a sculpture of an insect that is mostly formed by lines. Then put it next to a small toy or model car and see how its size seems to change.
About the Sculpture
Spider is an enormous, semi-abstract sculpture, more than nine feet high. It reminds us of a spider without looking exactly like one. Louise Bourgeois has made many sculptures based on spiders, relating them to her mother, who died when Bourgeois was 20. "My mother was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable, dainty, subtle, indispensable, neat and useful as a spider," she once wrote.
About the Artist
Louise Bourgeois has had a long career as an artist. She once said, "As an artist I am a powerful person. In real life I feel like the mouse behind the radiator." She was born in France but has lived in the U.S. since she was in her twenties. She has made many kinds of sculptures. "My early work," she has said, "is the fear of falling. Later on it became the art of falling. How to fall without hurting yourself."
Write About It
- Make a list of what you see.
- How did the artist use the elements and principles of design?
- What do you think the sculpture means? How does it make you feel?
- Select two sculptures to compare & contrast.