One of the least conventional artists of our time, Niki de Saint Phalle excited both admiration and controversy. One of the few female artists to receive both popular and critical recognition in her lifetime, this painter, sculptor and film maker is a fascinating figure. A major retrospective of her work is presented at the Grand Palais until February 2nd.
The life and work of Niki de Saint Phalle
Although born in France in 1930 to an aristocratic family, Niki de Saint Phalle moved to America in 1933 after her father lost much of his fortune in the Great Depression. She began her career as a fashion model, appearing on the covers of Life and French Vogue, before eloping at the age of eighteen. As a married woman she began to teach herself to paint. Following a nervous breakdown she was urged to continue expressing herself artistically as a form of therapy.
Moving to Spain, the artist became inspired by the bold architectural works of Antonio Gaudi. She began to be noticed in the early 60s largely as a result of her series of Shooting Paintings. To create these she would shoot holes in bags of paint and the resultant leakage would splatter or dribble on to the canvas. Following this she began to create sculptures of female forms, using the medium to illustrate her socio-political concepts regarding women in society. This series of sculptures, entitled Nanas, brought her firmly to the forefront of the art world and cemented her reputation as a daringly unconventional talent who was skilled at manipulating the media in much the same way as Andy Warhol. Her largest work was a Tarot Garden in Tuscany that took many years to complete.
Along with fellow artist Jean Tinguely, she created the Stravinsky Fountain located in front of the Pompidou Centre.
In addition to the better known works, the current retrospective exhibition offers less well known aspects of the artist’s oeuvre, ranging from cinematic and performance art to written pieces.
Here’s our Special Offer for the All Saints Holidays
Stay at L’Interlude Hotel for the October 24th to November 2nd 2014 period and take advantage of our special All Saints Holidays offer. If you make a booking on our official website for a stay during this time we can offer you a 30% discount. This is a significant time in French culture. Come and see why. October and November are also a great time for gourmets to head to Paris, as there are some great trade shows coming up. The Salon du Chocolat, the Salon Saveurs for fine food fans and Le Grand Tasting, a major event for wine buffs.
Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition : from September 17th to February 2nd, 2015
Entry via Winston Churchill Avenue, Paris 8th
Telephone: 00 33 (0) 1 44 13 17 17
Metro : Champs Elysées-Clémenceau, lines 1 and 13
Picture 'Nana at Hanover (Germany)' copyright holder : Wikimedia commons - Photographer Pär Henning
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