Internationally-renowned artist Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider to leave its home on the Embarcadero and spin a new web in a private collection in Texas.
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs of the San Francisco Arts Commission, has announced the removal of Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture, Crouching Spider. On loan to the City since November 2007, the 2 ½ ton monumental bronze arachnid has enjoyed pride of place at the Embarcadero’s Entry Plaza at Pier 14. Louise Bourgeois, 97, is considered to be one of the world’s most important and influential living artists. The sculpture, which was originally cast in 2003 from the artist’s famous Spider series, was made specifically for display in San Francisco. Initially lent for eight months by the artist, courtesy of Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco and Cheim & Read, New York, the sculpture’s stay was extended due to popular support. On Friday, April 24th, Crouching Spider will be disassembled with the greatest of care into ten pieces and transported to a private collection in Houston, Texas.
“Crouching Spider set a new precedent for public art in San Francisco”, stated Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs. “It has been truly wonderful to have such a magnificent sculpture by a world-class artist placed at the entrance of the City were it was viewed and enjoyed by thousands of people. We thank Mayor Newsom for his enthusiasm and support for the public art program. His support reflects his belief that the arts are a vital part of the life of the city, and we look forward to continuing to enrich the community by bringing new works by leading local and national artists to the Bay Area.”
Crouching Spider was placed on the Embarcadero courtesy of the San Francisco Port Commission. The sculpture was part of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Temporary Projects in Natural Settings Initiative and was funded by the Art Enrichment monies generated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s capital projects. Other recent temporary projects include: an installation of eight monumental bronze sculptures by the celebrated Spanish artist Manolo Valdés at the Civic Center (April–September 2008); San Francisco artist Tony Labat’s sculpture Big Peace IV on Patricia’s Green on Octavia Blvd. in Hayes Valley (December 20098–June 2009); and Patrick Dougherty’s environmental sculpture, The Upper Crust at Joseph L. Alioto Performing Arts Piazza (February–November 2009).
The removal process will begin at 9:00 AM on Friday, April 24th. The Spider’s eight legs and torso will be disassembled and loaded into a truck bound for Houston, Texas. The entire process is expected to conclude between 3:00 – 4:00 PM.
LOUISE BOURGEOIS was born in Paris in 1911 and moved to New York in 1938 where her prolific career has spanned seven decades. Recently, Ms. Bourgeois’ work was on a worldwide museum tour starting with the Tate Modern in London and traveling to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. The artist continues to create new work in a variety of media.
Ms. Bourgeois’ spider sculptures pay homage to her mother, who like a spider, was a weaver and spinner, working in the family business of tapestry repair. For Ms. Bourgeois the spider represents an ideal mother because it is a creature that protects its children while weaving for them a beautiful home. The immense scale of the spider sculptures correspond to the monumental importance of the artists’ mother to her daughter.
ABOUT THE ARTS COMMISSION
Established by charter in 1932, the San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. Led by the belief that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being, the Arts Commission programs permeate all aspects of city life from the murals and monuments under the care of the Civic Art Collection to the dance and theatre productions funded by Cultural Equity Grants, to the new generation of teen poets cultivated by the Writer’s Corp program. Click here for more information: http://www.sfartscommission.org
MORE NEW WORKS:
WOMAN WITH BIRDS. Michael Carey, Sculptor. Located on the front lawn of J.P. Murphy Clubhouse at 1960 9th Avenue near Pacheco Street, the 6-foot sculpture features a patina-finished cast bronze human figure with outstretched arms supporting three birds. The figure stands atop an 8-foot patina-finished mild-steel obelisk with twelve cut-out and reattached bird shapes.
HAWK V. Gwynn Murrill, Sculptor. The 19″ bronze sculpture recently installed at San Francisco Zoo’s Koret Animal Resource Center, is mounted on a limestone base and sited in a naturalistic landscape adjacent to the Raptor Hill display. The work inspires a deep appreciation of the grace and beauty of these magnificent birds.
ABOUT THE SFAC’S PUBLIC ART PROGRAM
The Arts Commission’s Public Art Program was established by the City Arts Enrichment Ordinance in 1969, as one of the first of its kind in the country. The Public Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the lives of the city’s residents, visitors and employees. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, designers, city staff, officials and community members during the design of City projects in order to develop public art that is specific to the site and meaningful to the community.
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.
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