Niki de Saint Phalle (born Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle, 1930-2002) was an important artist of the postwar period. She created an original style, inspired by myths, her own travel experiences, and lessons absorbed from the avant-garde art of France, the country where she was born, and the United States, where she spent her youth. She quickly became famous for the “shooting paintings” that she carried out in 1961. These artworks were completed by shooting a rifle at plaster reliefs containing cans and bags filled with paint. They embodied elements of both painting and sculpture, and the method she used to create them has been recognized as a precursor of performance art. Later on, Saint Phalle took great interest in representations of women, creating liberated female images characterized by vivid colors and dynamic forms in the Nana series, which still appeals to a wide audience. She was a versatile artist who also produced theatrical performances and films and became actively involved in designing architectural sculpture, exemplified by the Tarot Garden project. Beginning in the early 1980s, Saint Phalle entered into a more than 20-year friendship with Yoko Shizue Masuda, founder of the Niki Museum in Nasu (open from 1994 to 2011). Masuda formed a collection of Saint Phalle’s art and worked hard to make her varied artistic achievements better known in Japan. Her efforts were effective in gaining renewed respect for the artist in this country. This exhibition, coming 85 years after Saint Phalle’s birth, will be the largest retrospective exhibition of her art ever to be held in Japan, including valuable works that will be shown for the first time here. It includes some elements of the retrospective organized at the Grand Palais in Paris in autumn 2014, giving a broad overview of Saint Phalle’s marvelous artistic world. It features approximately 150 examples from Saint Phalle’s early to late work, including shooting paintings and sculptures as well as drawings and prints. It also spotlights the special relationship Saint Phalle developed with Japan through her friendship with Yoko Shizue Masuda.