Niki de Saint Phalle

  • Nana soleil Oiseau amoreux
  • California Nana Lady with handbag
  • 1999, polyester, height 35 cm
  • 2000
  • 1999, polyester, height 33 cm
  • 2000

Niki de Saint Phalle (born 1930 as Catherine Marie-Agnès de Saint Phalle in Neuilly-sur-Seine, died 2002 in San Diego, California), a connoisseur of the art of living, mostly known in Germany by her gorgeous "Nanas", also produced images with similar direct emotional accuracy. Niki de Saint Phalle always dealed with the role of women in society and with the question of self-determined femininity. She was a cosmopolitan world-citizen and lived and suffered for her art.

After a nervous breakdown, which she experienced at the age of 23, too burdened with her role as a young mother and wife, she discovered the healing and liberating effect of art. This is illustrated particularly by her naive and autodidactic manner of expression, which she retained on the advice of the American painter Hugh Weiss. That’s why it is no surprise that the naive painter Henri Rousseau is regarded as one of her main sources of inspiration. But also works by artists such as Klee, Matisse, Picasso and her artistic life-long partner Jean Tinguely had great influence on her work. On her journeys, Niki was especially impressed by Gaudis Güell Park built in Barcelona.

 With her "shooting paintings" since 1961, Saint Phalle became a "shooting star" at the Parisian art scene and soon had bright international success. These images consist of assemblages filled with liquid colour, whose content starts to spread according to the vandalizing fire by Niki and other contributors. These works, full of emotion, were created as a mental rescue and Niki commented on that later:

"I was an angry woman ... I became an artist because I had no alternative. It was my destiny".

In the late 1960s Niki discovered the little-known polyester as a material for her sculptures - a discovery which she should pay with her physical health as she later died because of a lung disease.

Her Nanas, shining in bright colours and strong femininity, first led to discussions due to their possible vulgarity. But now hardly anyone can escape the Nanas charm and hence they adorn city parks, fountains and various architecture in the whole world.

Gallery Exhibitions

Niki de Saint Phalle, 19.11.2014 - 23.11.2014, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Cologne Fine Art 2014

Niki de Saint Phalle, 20.11.2013 - 24.11.2013, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Cologne Fine Art 2013

Niki de Saint Phalle, 07.03.2013 - 10.03.2013, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie art KARLSRUHE 2013

Niki de Saint Phalle - Eine Retrospektive, 09.11.2012 - 31.01.2013, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie

Museum Exhibitions

Niki de Saint Phalle und das Theater - At Last I Found the Treasure, until April 08, 2018, Städtische Museen Jena Kunstsammlung Jena, Jena

Niki de Saint Phalle und das Theater - At Last I Found the Treasure, Dec. 7, 2016 - March 12, 2017, Kunst- und Kulturstiftung Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, Rüsselsheim

Niki de Saint Phalle, The big shots, April 26, 2016 - Jan. 29, 2017, Sprengel Museum Hannover

Niki de Saint Phalle, Max Ernst ua. , (un)erwartet. Die Kunst des Zufalls, Sep. 24, 2016 - Feb. 19, 2017, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart

Niki de Saint Phalle, Murakami a.o., Sep. 26, 2015 - Jan. 17, 2016, Palais de Beaux-Arts, Lille, France

Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, until Dec. 18, 2015, ARTTRUST S.A., Melano, Swiss

Niki de Saint Phalle: I love life, until Dec. 13, 2015, Kunsthaus Apolda Avantgarde, Apolda

ArtZuid 2015, May 22, 2015 - Sep. 22, 2015, Foundation ArtZuid, Amsterdam (NL)

Künstlerplakate von Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely, June. 5, 2016 - Sep.4, 2016, Horst-Janssen-Museum Oldenburg

Niki des Saint Phalle, Feb. 27, 2015 - June 7, 2015, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (E)

Niki de Saint Phalle, Sep. 17, 2014 - Feb. 2, 2015, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris (F)

Premiére - Die Sammlung Würth in Rohrschach, April 28, 2014 - Jan. 15, 2015,
Forum Würth Rohrschach, Swiss

Niki de Saint Phalle: En joue! Assemblagen und Schießbilder, Feb. 1, 2014 - April 21, 2014, Stiftung Ahlers Pro Arte/Kestner Pro Arte, Hannover

Le Bazar du Genre, until  January 2014, MuCEM - Musée d\'Art civilisations de l´Europe et de la Méditerranée, Marseille (F)

Niki de Saint Phalle: Méchant Méchant (Böse Böse) und die verlorenen Spiele..., Eine Ausstellung für Kinder, March 30, 2013 - Oct. 27, 2013, Sprengel Museum Hannover

The girl, the Monster and the Goddess, May 12, 2012 - Sep. 9, 2012, Moderna Museet, Malmö (S)

Niki de Saint Phalle. Spiel mit mir, Jan. 15, 2012 -  June 3, 2012, Max Ernst Museum, Brühl