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Artists

Niki De Saint Phalle

(Neuilly-sur-Seine, Francia 1930-San Diego, USA 2002)

Catherine Marie-Agnes Fal de Saint Phalle, known as Niki, was born in France to a noble family. She had a particularly traumatic childhood that led her to pour all of her frustration and anger caused by the injustices and abuses she suffered into her art.

 

For this young woman, art became a refuge and an expression of the independence and power always denied to women. She ranges through various creative forms, from sculpture to painting, engraving, architecture to directing. The themes she deals with concern femininity and feminism, leisure and violence, happiness and pain. She lashes out against the clearly patriarchal society of her time, but also against religion and racism. After divorcing her first husband, Niki married Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely with whom she collaborated. The two joined the Nouveau Réalisme group (an artistic movement dating back to the 1960s-1970s, founded by critic Pierre Restany. It includes world-famous artists such as: Arman, César, Christo, Rotella and Klein. This movement is characterised by the use of damaged or destroyed objects that are reassembled, juxtaposed or boxed, giving them a new meaning).

 

Observing the drawing of a painter friend, Niki de Saint Phalle was inspired to produce sculptures of pregnant women, the “Nanas”, in which curvilinear traits and roundness are exalted, a clear expression of female sexuality. Being gifted with great inventiveness, she creates not only sculptures of women but also of monsters and animals. These are extravagant figures with bright colours, first made with wool, yarns, papier-mâché and metal wire, later in polyester. It was in the 90s that she designed the most important work of her artistic career: “The Tarot Garden”. In this enchanted place, located in Garavicchio near Pescia Fiorentina (Tuscany), you can admire 22 statues up to 15 meters high that the artist creates inspired by Master Gaudì (Spanish architect famous for having designed the Sagrada Familia).

 

Her works are exhibited in the following museums: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MAMAC, Nice; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Sprengel Museum, Hanover; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London and many other prestigious institutions worldwide.

Niki De Saint Phalle

Oiseau amoreux
1972
painted resin
43 x 41 x 17 cm

Niki De Saint Phalle.jpg

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