Sunday, September 28, 2014

Niki de Saint Phalle

Grand Palais entrance

A marvelously ambitious exhibition of Niki de Saint Phalle recently opened at the Grand Palais with more than 200 pieces on display. The exhibit chronologically takes us along the path of her career. We are introduced to her personality, those who influenced her along with her frailties and her strengths. 

Niki was a feminist who took on issues of women as well as being one of the first artists to tackle the issue of race and defending civil rights. Always at the forefront, she was one of the first to use art to educate the public about the ravages of AIDS. Nor was she afraid to tackle political issues and she promoted public art projects.

Many of her beloved “Nanas” are on display. The large viewing rooms of the Grand Palais are perfectly suited to her large, colorful Nanas and their commanding presence.

One very powerful part of the exhibit was Niki's exploration of violence through her “Shooting Paintings” done in the early 1960’s. These pieces of art were composed of polythene bags of paint covered in white plaster that were then shot at to burst the bags. The resultant images are remarkably disturbing.

The exposition opened on the 17th of September and it will continue until the 2nd of February 2015. If you go by métro exit at Champs-Élysées Clemenceau or Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

Nanas floating in air

Nanas à table

one of Niki's skull sculptures

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