A $40 Million Spider Sculpture by Louise Bourgeois Is the Priciest Sale Reported During Art Basel’s Bustling VIP Preview


Louise Bourgeois’ giant Steel Spider was sold on Tuesday in Art Basel, Switzerland, at a price of $ 40 million. This is the highest known price of the late artist.

10.6 ft high sculpture, Spider In (1996), he stood above the Hauser & Worth booth during VIP opening hours at a major international trade fair for contemporary art.

The person in charge of the gallery confirmed the selling price. President Mark Payo said the work was sold to European customers and arranged for sale prior to the fair. This work was previously exhibited at the opening of Hauser & Worth’s Monaco Space last year and in London in 2016.

The $ 40 million figure was the highest amount we got from a lively VIP preview that brought together top collectors such as Leon Black, Ulyssig, and Richard Chan. According to the advisor, the work of a popular young artist was popping out of the wall.

Prices reported at art fairs can skyrocket, but the $ 40 million range figures offered will be one of the highest known prices paid for the work of a female artist.The best auction result for women’s work is $ 44.4 million Jimson Weed / White Flower No.1 By Georgia O’Keeffe sold at Sotheby’s in 2014.

The bourgeois auction record is $ 32 million and was set as a spider at Christie’s in 2019. It dates back to 1996, similar to the one on the Hauser & Worth stand.

This deal could provide the necessary boost to the 20th and 21st century artist markets, where auction sales plummeted during a pandemic. In the last decade, the bourgeoisie (1911–2010) has been one of the most highly regarded female artists in the auction. However, after peaking at $ 47 million in 2019, her auction sales fell 70% to $ 14.3 million in 2021.

Spiders are the most highly regarded work on the market and are in the top six auctions. Artnet price database. As is often the case with bourgeois, Steel Spider is a unique piece. Her bronze spider, like Christie’s, was usually offered in six editions.

This series is considered autobiographical, and the spider and its web-spinning are associated with the mother of an artist who died in 1932.

“I’m trying to use spiders to convey the power and personality of humble animals.” Bourgeois once Said.. “”It’s modest, but it’s very clear and can’t be destroyed. It’s not the animal itself, it’s my relationship with the animal. Believe it or not, it proves the fact that the spider is my mother. “

Additional report by Naomirea.

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