Christie’s upcoming Post-War and Contemporary Evening auction just may set a new record for a work by a female artist. The piece in the spotlight is Spider (1997) by Louise Bourgeois, which is Lot 10 in the November 10 sale in New York. According to ARTnews, though the estimated price isn’t listed on the auction site, the massive creepy crawler is expected to bring in at least $25 million and possibly even as much as $35M.
Bourgeois passed away in 2010 and since, interest in her work has skyrocketed. The high estimate makes it pretty plausible that Spider could break the current record for the most expensive piece for a female artist held by Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 (1932), which was sold last year by Sotheby’s for $44.4M. Those amounts seem paltry compared to the record for a male artist, which is held by Picasso with $179.4M, so a new record for Bourgeois would be a pretty big deal.
Made from bronze, the sculpture is the third in a collection of six that Bourgeois cast in 1997. “The estimate indicates a radical shift in prices for the artist’s monumental work: the last time a major Bourgeois Spider came up at auction, at Christie’s in November 2011, the estimate ranged from $4 million to $6 million. That work, which was from a different edition and just a bit smaller, sold for $10.7 million,” says ARTnews.