Art@Site Niki Phalle Saint de Nana Gwendolyn Basel

Niki Phalle Saint de


Nana Gwendolyn

Mixed feelings
Many artworks by Niki Saint Phalle are playful and have humor. In this artwork, it is not completely succesful, in my opinion.
It is true that the colors are bright. The lines are also lively. But it doesn’t make me happy.
The first thing I notice is the remarkable thick belly. Nana Gwendolyn is pregnant. Then I feel a conflict between the artwork and my feelings with a pregnant woman. I miss tenderness in this artwork.
Nana Gwendolyn is standing tall, but it’s a pity that her head is so small. I'm searching for a soft look in her eyes.
I see the humor of Saint Phalle in the exaggeratedly huge breasts and buttocks here. Other artworks by Saint-Phalle rotate, spin and dance, but I miss this happiness in Nana Gwendolyn.
By Theo,

Gemengde gevoelens
Veel kunstwerken van Niki Saint Phalle zijn speels en hebben humor. Bij dit kunstwerk is dat niet geheel geslaagt, naar mijn gevoel.
Het klopt dat de kleuren fleurig zijn. Ook de lijnen zijn uitbundig. Maar dit maakt mij nog niet vrolijk.
Het eerste wat mij opvalt is de bijzonder dikke buik. Nana Gwendolyn is zwanger. En dan voel ik een conflict tussen het kunstwerk en mijn gevoel bij een zwangere vrouw. Ik mis tederheid bij dit kunstwerk.
Nana Gwendolyn staat fier overeind maar ik vind het jammer dat haar hoofd zo klein is. Ik zoek naar een zachte blik in haar ogen.
De humor van Saint Phalle met overdreven grote borsten en billen zie ik terug. Andere kunstwerken van Saint Phalle draaien, tollen, dansen maar deze vrolijkheid mis is bij Nana Gwendolyn.
By Theo,
Niki de Saint Phalle, *1930 Neuilly-sur-Seine, † 2002 San Diego.
Nana Gwendolyn, 1966.
Standort: Tinguely-Museum
Niki de Saint Phalle was a French artist best known for her sculptural female figures known as Nanas. Colorful, patterned, and crafted in a variety of shapes and sizes, these sculpted women embody de Saint Phalle’s feminist spirit.
Born Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle on October 29, 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, the self-taught artist first began making work as a form of therapy.
She went on to become a part of the Nouveau Réalisme movement that included Christo, Yves Klein, and Jean Tinguely. Early in her career, de Saint Phalle became inspired by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí while on vacation in Spain, and planned to make a piece on par with his famed public park design, Parc Güell.
Realized over two decades, de Saint Phalle’s Il Giardino dei Tarocchi (The Tarot Garden) was filled with 22 of her signature monuments and is located in Tuscany. “It's my destiny to make a place where people can come and be happy: a garden of joy,” she once mused.
The artist died on May 21, 2002 in La Jolla, CA at the age of 71. Today, her works are held in the collections of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Musée d’Art Moderne d’Art Contemporain in Nice, among others.
Niki de Saint Phalle (born Catherine-Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle, 29 October 1930 – 21 May 2002) was a French-American sculptor, painter, and filmmaker. She was one of the few women artists widely known for monumental sculpture, but also for her commitments.
She had a difficult and traumatic childhood and education, which she wrote about decades later. After an early marriage and two children, she began creating art in a naïve, experimental style. She first received worldwide attention for angry, violent assemblages which had been shot by firearms. These evolved into Nanas, light-hearted, whimsical, colorful, large-scale sculptures of animals, monsters, and female figures. Her most comprehensive work was the Tarot Garden, a large sculpture garden containing numerous works ranging up to house-sized creations. Her idiosyncratic style has been called "outsider art"; she had no formal training in art, but associated freely with many other contemporary artists, writers, and composers.
Throughout her creative career, she collaborated with other well-known artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, composer John Cage, and architect Mario Botta, as well as dozens of less-known artists and craftspersons. For several decades, she worked especially closely with Swiss kinetic artist Jean Tinguely, who also became her second husband. In her later years, she suffered from multiple chronic health problems attributed to repeated exposure to glass fibers and petrochemical fumes from the experimental materials she had used in her pioneering artworks, but she continued to create prolifically until the end of her life.
A critic has observed that Saint Phalle's "insistence on exuberance, emotion and sensuality, her pursuit of the figurative and her bold use of color have not endeared her to everyone in a minimalist age". She was well known in Europe, but her work was little-seen in the US, until her final years in San Diego. Another critic said: "The French-born, American-raised artist is one of the most significant female and feminist artists of the 20th century, and one of the few to receive recognition in the male-dominated art world during her lifetime".
Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) is one of the most popular artists of the mid-twentieth century but paradoxically the richness and complexity of his work remain to be discovered.
It is one of the first women artists in his lifetime to acquire international recognition and play its media personality. Niki is also one of the first - at the same time as Warhol - use the press and the media to control or direct the reception of his work.
Self-taught, Niki de Saint Phalle is inspired by Gaudi, Dubuffet and Pollock to establish in the late 50s a singular universe, outside of any trend and movement. His biographical journey is enhanced by the creation of themes and myths that revolve then all his work. We know the joyful and colorful character, but one has forgotten the violence, commitment and radicalism. Whether the audacity of its performance, and feminist political content of his work or ambition of his achievements in public space.
This retrospective, the first major exhibition dedicated to Niki de Saint Phalle for twenty years, presents all facets of the artist who was both painter assemblagiste, sculptor, printmaker, performance artist and experimental filmmaker, and deeply renews his gaze work. More than 200 works and archives many of which are unpublished punctuate a journey of 2,000 m2 both chronologically and thematically, punctuated by screens showing the artist commenting on his work. Models of architectural projects and a fountain sculpture (The Fountain Tree Snakes) at the entrance of the Grand Palais, will discuss the scale and diversity of its public work.
The exhibition"Niki" is organized by the RMN - Grand Palais with the kind participation of the Niki Charitable Art Foundation and co-organized with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. It benefits from exceptional loans from the Sprengel Museum in Hanover and Nice MAMAC, which have received large donations artist.