Niki de Saint Phalle

French, 1930–2002

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Niki de Saint Phalle

French, 1930–2002

2,296
Followers
Biography

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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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$1m, Sotheby's, 2006
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Biography

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.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$1m, Sotheby's, 2006
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Shows Featuring Niki de Saint Phalle
Articles Featuring Niki de Saint Phalle
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Jan 20th, 2020
Understanding 11 Great Artists through the Instructions They Left Behind
Apr 15th, 2019
These Painters Abandoned Brushes for Sledgehammers, Chainsaws, and Blowtorches
Dec 18th, 2018
From Frank Stella to Louise Bourgeois, 9 Artists Who Designed Stunning Jewelry
Feb 5th, 2018
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