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Culture

Louise Bourgeois’s Monumental Maman Comes to the SNFCC

ATHENS – Louise Bourgeois’s monumental sculpture Maman (1999) is coming the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), free for all visitors to enjoy.

This iconic giant spider—one of the works that made the artist famous around the world—will be on display at the SNFCC Esplanade from March 30 to November 6, 2022. Maman is being brought to this public space by NEON and the SNFCC, whose participation in the Maman installation is made possible by a recent grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the SNFCC’s operations and programming.

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 ten 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.

Through her art, Louise Bourgeois expressed her innermost thoughts and fears, worked through problems, and gave form to her emotions. In prints, drawings, textiles, installations, 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.

To promote access to the arts, the installation at the SNFCC will be accompanied by a wealth of parallel programming made possible by the SNF’s grant, which will include readings, educational and school programs, workshops for children and adults, and guided tours.

Maman | Louise Bourgeois
30 March – 6 November 2022
SNFCC, Esplanade
Free entrance

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