Record $32.8 Million for Louise Bourgeois Spider Sculpture at Auction

A large spindly spider sculpture by French-American artist Louise Bourgeois got $32.8 million at auction on Thursday, setting a record for a work by a female sculptor, according to Sotheby’s.

Bourgeoise completed the work, which stands over 10 feet tall and stretches 18 feet across, in 1996 and is one of only four monumental spiders to be auctioned.

The buyer was not identified by Sotheby’s. It stated the seller was the Fundacao Itau of Brazil, which bought the painting more than 25 years ago.

Bourgeois was born in Paris but lived much of her adult life in New York City, where she became known for her signature installation art. She died in 2010 at the age of 98.

She was a prolific painter and printer, but she is best known for her large-scale sculptures, particularly of nimble, spindly spiders, which she said conjured memories of her mother, both as a dangerous threat and a hardworking repairer and weaver.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Tate Modern in London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington have all displayed Bourgeois’ colossal spiders.

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