Niki de Saint Phalle
French, 1930-2002
1,694 followers
High auction record
$1m, null, 2011
Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
WOW! The Heidi Horten Collection,
Leopold Museum
Artists’ Jewellery from Calder to Koons, Diane Venet’s Ideal Collection,
Les Arts Décoratifs
2014
Niki de Saint Phalle - Nanas 60s-90s,
Galerie Mitterrand

An enfant terrible ever trying to escape the bourgeois existence into which she was born, Niki de Saint-Phalle taught herself painting and rose to artistic prominence through her colorful monumental outdoor sculptures of extravagantly voluptuous female figures. Early in her career, she became known for the abstract paintings she made by placing paint-filled bags above canvases and shooting them—a form of protest against patriarchy and rigidity. Through her “nanas”, a series of life-size papier maché dolls of the proverbial “everywoman”—including brides and mothers giving birth—de Saint-Phalle contemplated women’s societal roles. Later, inspired by Antoni Gaudí´s Parc Güell in Barcelona, she set out to create something equally impressive but made by a woman; the result was Il Giardino dei Tarocchi (The Tarot Garden), a garden filled with colorful sculptures based on Tarot card symbols, which she created over 20 years on land she acquired in Tuscany.

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