The spider looms large in the work of Louise Bourgeois, both figuratively and literally. Her monumental Maman (1999)—a 30-foot-high spider of bronze and stainless steel, complete with a steel sac of 32 marble eggs—requires a construction crew and two cranes for assembly. Bourgeois has said that Maman is an ode to her mother, who ran the family business of tapestry weaving. But Bourgeois herself was a weaver, interlacing childhood and its traumas, the compulsions of sexuality and the tightening grip of mortality, into art of fearful power. This large retrospective contains work from the 1940s through 2010, the last year of Bourgeois’s life. —L.J.
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