niki de saint phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle

(1930-2002)

Niki de Saint Phalle was a self-taught French-American artist. Expressing herself through various media, Niki de Saint Phalle was a visual artist, painter, sculptor, film director and author. Bilingual in French and English, she formed an essential link between French and American artists in Paris. Niki de Saint Phalle became part of the Nouveau Réalisme movement.

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Niki de Saint Phalle’s early life

Niki de Saint Phalle (born Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle) was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on October 29th, 1930 to an American mother (Jeanne-Jacqueline Harper) and a French father (André Marie Fal de Saint-Phalle). Niki de Saint Phalle grew up in New York, travelling regularly to France to visit her family. She became a model, her photographs appearing in Vogue and Life magazines. Niki de Saint Phalle married her childhood friend Harry Mathews at the age of 18 years old.

Niki de Saint Phalle painted her first works in 1950, while her husband was studying music at Harvard. The couple’s first child, Laura, was born in 1951. The following year, the family moved to Paris, where Niki de Saint Phalle studied theatre. The family spent the summer in the South of France, Spain and Italy, where Niki de Saint Phalle visited museums and cathedrals.

The artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s early works

In 1953, Niki de Saint Phalle was hospitalised for depression. Painting helped her to overcome her illness and she decided to become an artist. In her own words: “I started painting in the madhouse, where I learnt how to translate emotions, fear, violence, hope and joy into painting. It was through creation that I discovered the sombre depths of depression, and how to overcome it.” A self-taught artist, in this respect Niki de Saint Phalle was similar to outsider artists. She would indeed become very close to Jean Dubuffet, the theorist behind the Art Brut movement. In Paris, Niki de Saint Phalle was encouraged to pursue her chosen path by the artists she met. The family then moved to Mallorca, where Niki and Harry had their second child in 1955: Phillip.

Saint Phalle’s family later returned to Paris, where she met the artist Jean Tinguely, with whom she began to work. Niki de Saint Phalle was also deeply affected by the works of Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Henri Rousseau. She visited the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, where she discovered works by Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg.

Niki and Harry separated in 1960. The artist then moved into her studio alone. A number of Niki de Saint Phalle’s works were included in a group exhibition at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely moved in together, sharing the same studio.

Niki de Saint Phalle & the Tirs series

In the early 1960s, Niki de Saint Phalle created her Tirs (Shooting Paintings) works: they consisted of structures composed of containers filled with paint, on to which the artist would shoot with a rifle to create projections on the canvas. As such, the Tirs pieces combined pictorial art and performance art. Niki de Saint Phalle was close to a number of notable American artists living in Paris, including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, Shirley Goldfarb and James Metcalf, whom she invited to participate in the series.
She also collaborated with the French artists Gérard Deschamps and Raymond Hains in creating her Tirs pieces.

Niki de Saint Phalle became part of the Nouveau Réalisme (New Realism) movement, a group of artists that brought together Arman, Christo, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely and Jacques de la Villeglé, among others. Perfectly bilingual, she became a privileged link between French and American artists living in Paris.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie J in Paris in 1961. In that year, Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tirs were made famous by the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF) En français dans le texte programme. The journalist Catherine Gonnard observed that Niki de Saint Phalle was “a leading figure of the avant-garde on television.” Thanks to her prior experience as a model, she was at ease in front of the cameras. The art critic and founder of the Nouveau Réalisme movement, Pierre Restany, “used his exceptional understanding of imagery to promote the new avant-garde (…) in particular at the screening of a documentary entitled Un certain art… which presented James Metcalf, Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle.” It was as such that a Tir work was enacted in front of the cameras of the American news agency United Press International.

Through Marcel Duchamp, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely met the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí—with whom they travelled to Spain.

In the same year, Niki de Saint Phalle took part in the exhibition The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In February 1962, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely travelled to California, Nevada and Mexico, where the two artists took part in various exhibitions and cultural events. On their return to France, the couple settled in the Paris region, where Niki de Saint Phalle began creating figurative sculptures of women (some giving birth, others representing brides), as well as dragons and monsters.

Niki de Saint Phalle & the Nanas series

Niki de Saint Phalle created her first Nana in 1965, inspired by the pregnancy of the actress Clarice Rivers—wife of the artist Larry Rivers. Entitled Gwendoline (Musée Tinguely, Basel), the sculpture represented an archetypal female form. Niki de Saint Phalle further developed the theme, her Nanas evolving into giant round women in dancing positions.
The first exhibition of Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nanas was held at the Galerie Iolas in Paris in September 1966. The artist published her first book for the occasion.

In the same year, the Nanas were incorporated into a ballet by Roland Petit entitled Éloge de la folie. Presented at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the ballet was a triumph. It featured Nana figures on rods held up by dancers, as well as set designs by Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely and Martial Raysse.

In the following year, Niki de Saint Phalle created a gigantic Nana for the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Measuring 28 m long, 9 m wide and 6 m high, this reclining Nana was entitled Hon (“She” in Swedish). Visitors could enter the sculpture of the woman through an entrance between her legs. With its powerful symbolism, the piece attracted considerable attention. Niki de Saint Phalle’s first monumental work, the piece reinforced her desire to create a sculpture garden.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s inhabitable architecture

In 1971, Niki de Saint Phalle received her first architectural commission—for a house in the South of France—after which she travelled to India and Egypt. Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely were married in the same year.

In 1972, Niki de Saint Phalle received a second private architectural commission for a project in Belgium. She worked on the project with the Haligon workshop—a partnership that would continue with collaborations on large-scale sculpture projects as well as work in editions.

In 1999, Niki de Saint Phalle began work on the design of the Grotto in the royal Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover. Consisting of three rooms, the Grotto was decorated with mosaics made of white and gold mirrors, blue and black pieces of glass, multicoloured stones, and red, yellow and orange glassware. All of the mosaics were adorned with figures on the theme of The Life of Man.

The artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s monumental sculptures

Niki de Saint Phalle’s passion for monumental sculptures illustrated her desire to go beyond the confines of the museum to create works of art accessible to all.

Niki de Saint Phalle worked together with Jean Tinguely on Le Paradis Fantastique—a commission for the French Pavilion at the 1967 Universal and International Exhibition in Montreal, Canada. The piece was made up of nine monumental sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle, six kinetic sculptures and six machines by Jean Tinguely. In the installation, the works of the two artists are staged to confront each other, “in competition”. During the production of the sculptures, Niki de Saint Phalle was exposed to toxic gases from the heated polystyrene. The damage this caused to her lungs resulted in recurring health problems for the artist. Directly inspired by the piece Hon, Le Paradis Fantastique was transferred to the Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1971.

In 1973, Niki de Saint Phalle was commissioned to create a monumental sculpture for Rabinovitch Park in Jerusalem. It was called Golem. Designed for children, the work was a fantastical monster with tongues that served as playground slides.
In 1974, Niki de Saint Phalle created three monumental Nanas for the city of Hanover in Germany. The inhabitants of the city nicknamed them Sophie, Charlotte and Caroline in homage to three historical figures of the city.

In 1982, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely worked together on a fountain project for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The work was called the Fontaine Stravinsky in a tribute to the Russian composer. Jean Tinguely died in Bern in 1991. To commemorate his life, Niki de Saint Phalle created her first kinetic sculptures: the Meta-Tinguelys.

The artist Niki de Saint Phalle worked with the architect Mario Botta on her Noah’s Ark project in Jerusalem—a park in which animal sculptures serve as children’s playground games. The park was opened in 2000.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s last monumental sculpture project was Queen Califia’s Magical Circle: a sculpture park located in Escondido, California. Named after Califia, an Amazon warrior who is an important figure in California culture, the park features a labyrinth and ten large-scale sculptures. The symbolism used by Niki de Saint Phalle in the pieces was inspired by Native American culture. Work began on the park in 2000 and it was inaugurated in 2003.

Niki de Saint Phalle & the Tarot Garden

Suffering from a pulmonary disease, Niki de Saint Phalle was hospitalised in Switzerland in 1974, where she was reunited with her collector friend Marella Caracciolo Agnelli. Niki de Saint Phalle shared her desire to build a sculpture garden with her friend, whose family subsequently gave her a plot of land in Garavicchio in Tuscany to realise the project.

Niki de Saint Phalle devoted herself to the creation of her Tarot Garden for nearly twenty years. The foundations were laid in 1978 and the construction of the first sculptures began in 1980. Niki de Saint Phalle joined forces with the architect Mario Botta for the project. The construction of the garden was financed by sales of editions.

The collection of works in the park was based on the twenty-two Major Arcana in the game of tarot. Completed in 1993, it was opened to the public in 1998. Constructed using metal frames covered with concrete, the sculptures were decorated with polychrome ceramics, mirror mosaics and glass. Measuring fifteen metres high, the largest pieces became real sculpture houses.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s inspiration for the Tarot Garden came in part from the architect Antoni Gaudí and his creations, such as the Parc Güell in Barcelona. She was also inspired by the Sacro Bosco, or Park of the Monsters, in Bomarzo and the Palais idéal du Facteur Cheval (the “Ideal Palace” of the French postman Ferdinand Cheval), which was built in Hauterives in the Drôme region of France. In a letter to Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle wrote: “I was telling you about Gaudí and the postman Cheval, whom I had just discovered and who had become my heroes: they represented the beauty of man, alone in his madness, without any intermediaries, museums or galleries. I provoked you by telling you that the postman Cheval was a much greater sculptor than you. ‘I’ve never heard of the fool,’ you said, insisting ‘Let’s go and see him at once.’ So we did, and the discovery of this marginal creative force gave you tremendous satisfaction. You were seduced by the poetry and fanaticism of this simple postman, who had realised his immense and crazy dream.”

Niki de Saint Phalle: a socially engaged woman artist

The artist Niki de Saint Phalle gave her support to many causes. One remarkable way she did so was by creating lithographs to support the Temporary Contemporary Museum in Los Angeles in 1983. The profits from the sales of the works were donated to research in the fight against AIDS. This particular cause was very close to Niki de Saint Phalle’s heart. She was involved with AIDS prevention and education work throughout her life.
In 1987, in collaboration with Dr Silvio Barandun, Niki de Saint Phalle wrote and illustrated the book AIDS: You Can’t Catch It Holding Hands, which was published in seven different languages.

Also committed to defending the rights of African Americans, Niki de Saint Phalle created a series of sculptures entitled Black Heroes, representing athletes and musicians such as Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s other projects

The self-taught artist Niki de Saint Phalle expressed herself through a diverse range of media. In 1972, for example, Niki de Saint Phalle created her first designs for the jeweller GEM Montebello in Milan. She also made two films: Daddy in 1974 and then Un rêve plus long que la nuit in 1975. In 1980, Saint Phalle began creating her first chairs, vases and lamps.

In 1982, Niki de Saint Phalle created an eponymous perfume, the bottle of which was decorated with two intertwined snakes. Marketed by the Jaqueline Cochran Company, the perfume was used to finance part of the Tarot Garden project.

As part of a worldwide touring kite exhibition in 1988, Niki de Saint Phalle created a gigantic kite with a design she had developed in the mid-1970s: Oiseau amoureux.

The artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s legacy

In 2000, Niki de Saint Phalle was awarded the Praemium Imperiale prize in Japan—a prize awarded since 1989 by the Imperial Family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association. Awarded annually for outstanding contributions to the development, promotion and progress of the arts, the prize is considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in this field. In 2001, the artist Niki de Saint Phalle donated 190 works to the city of Nice.

Niki de Saint Phalle died on May 21st, 2002 in La Jolla, California. The Niki Charitable Art Foundation is now responsible for the promotion and protection of Niki de Saint Phalle’s works.

The Grotto in the royal Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover was inaugurated in March 2003, in conjunction with an exhibition of the works Niki de Saint Phalle had donated to the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, which had made her an honorary citizen.

© Diane de Polignac Gallery
Translation: Lucy Johnston

niki de saint phalle - portrait

Niki de Saint Phalle with his rifle after shooting the canvas • Credits: Gerhard Rauch – Maxppp

Selected Collections

Selected collections

Aalborg (Denmark), Kunsten Museum of Modern Art

Amherst, MA, Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum

Angers, Musée des Beaux-Arts

Antibes, Musée Picasso

Athens, Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation

Baden-Baden, Museum Frieder Burda

Basel, Museum Tinguely

Bern, The Museum of Drawers

Bern, Tiefenau Spital

Bratislava, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum

Champaign, IL, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois

Charlotte, NC, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Chicago, IL, Museum of Contemporary Art

Chicago, IL, Robert B. Mayer Memorial Loan Collection

Chur (Switzerland), Würth International AG

Cologne, Ludwig Collection at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum

Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum

Dublin, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art

Duisburg, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum

Dunkirk, Lieu d’Art et Action Contemporaine (LAAC)

Düren, Museumsverein Leopold-Hoesch-Museum

Evanston, IL, Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University

Flassans-sur-Issole (France), Commanderie de Peyrassol

Fribourg, Espace Jean Tinguely – Niki de Saint Phalle

Fribourg, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire

Geneva, Fondation Gandur pour l’Art

Geneva, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de la Ville de Genève

Glasgow, Gallery of Modern Art

Glasgow, McLellan Galleries

Gyeongju (South Korea), Wooyang Museum of Contemporary Art

Hakone (Japan), The Hakone Open-Air Museum

Hanover, Sprengel Museum

Helsinki, Didrichsen Art Museum

Houston, TX, The Menil Collection

Houston, TX, The Museum of Fine Arts

Humlebaek (Denmark), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Jerusalem, Jerusalem Foundation

Jerusalem, Israel Museum

Kirishima (Japan), Kirishima Open-Air Museum

Koblenz, Ludwig Museum at the Deutschherrenhaus

Kruishoutem (Belgium), Fondation Veranneman

La Jolla, CA, Museum of Contemporary Art

Lausanne, Olympic Museum

Linz (Austria), Lentos Kunstmuseum

London, Tate Gallery

Los Angeles, CA, Frederick R. Weisman Foundation

Ludwigshafen, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum

Mannheim, Städtische Kunsthalle

Marseille, Musée Cantini

Marseille, Musée d’Art Contemporain

Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda

Milly-La-Forêt (France), Association Le Cyclop

Minneapolis, MN, Walker Art Center

Mönchengladbach, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg

Naoshima (Japan), Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Benesse Art Site

New Haven, CT, Yale University Art Gallery

New Haven, CT, Yale University, The Center For Jewish Life

New Orleans, LA, New Orleans Museum of Art

New Orleans, LA, Virlane Foundation

Buffalo, NY, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

New York, NY, Brooklyn Museum

New York, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met)

New York, NY, Whitney Museum of American Art

Nice, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC)

Nîmes, Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain

Osaka, National Museum of Art Osaka

Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

Paris, Fondation Claude Pompidou

Paris, Fonds National d’Art Contemporain

Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou

Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris

Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Perth, Art Gallery of Western Australia

Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA, Aluminium Company of America

Potsdam, Museum Fluxus+

Princeton, NJ, The Art Museum, Princeton University

Quebec, Musée d’Art de Joliette

Rotterdam, Museum Boymans Van Beuningen

San Diego, CA, Mingei International Museum

San Diego, CA, San Diego Museum of Art

São Paulo, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo

Zaragoza (Spain), Fundacion Aragonesa Pilar Citoler

Seoul, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Sintra (Portugal), Berardo Collection

St. Gallen (Switzerland), Kunstmuseum

Saint Louis, MO, City Garden, Gateway Foundation

Saint Louis, MO, Laumeier Sculpture Park

Stockholm, Moderna Museet

Taichung (Taiwan), Asia Museum of Modern Art

Thessaloniki (Greece), Macedonian Center of Contemporary Art

Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum

Tokyo, Benesse Corporation, Tama City

Toulon, Musée d’Art

Turku (Finland), Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum

Ulm (Germany), Medical Center, University of Ulm

Ulm (Germany), Ulmer Museum

Vienna, Museum Moderner Kunst

Washington, D.C., National Museum of Women in the Arts

Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art (previously the Corcoran Gallery)

Watari-um (Japan), Watari Museum of Fine Arts

Wattens (Austria), Swarovski Kristallwelten

Wattwiller, Fondation François Schneider

Selected works in public spaces

Selected works in publics spaces

Le Paradis Fantastique, 1967, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1967

Le Cyclope, Milly-la-Forêt (France), 1969-1994

Golem (Mifletzet), Collection of the City of Jerusalem, Kiryat Hayovel, Rabinovitch Park, Jerusalem, 1972

Hannover Nanas (Sophie, Charlotte, Caroline), Hanover, Leibnitz-Ufer (Germany), 1973

Le Poète et sa muse, Universität Ulm, Ulm (Germany), 1978

Le Jardin des Tarots (Tarot Garden), 1978 – 1998, Pescia Fiorentina, Capalbio, Provincia de Grossetto (Italy), 1978 – 1998

La Sirène, Commanderie de Peyrassol, Flassans-sur-Issole (France), 1983

Sun God, Stuart Collection, University of California, La Jolla (CA), 1983

La Fontaine Stravinsky, Collection de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1983

Adam & Eve, Universität Ulm, Ulm (Germany), 1985

La Fontaine de Château-Chinon, Collection de la ville de Château-Chinon (France), 1988

Arbre Serpents [Serpent Tree], Waterfront Park, San Diego (CA), 1988

Le Monde, Kulturforum Collection, Würth (Switzerland), 1989

Chat de Ricardo, Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, 1989

Le Grand Oiseau amoureux, Tinguely Museum Collection, Basel, 1989

Oiseau amoureux, Jigyo Central Park, Fukuoka City (Japan), 1990

Fontaine aux Nanas, Asklepios Klinik Harburg, Hamburg, 1991

Grand Oiseau de Feu sur l’Arche (The Firebird), Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte (NC), 1991

Arbre serpents [Serpent Tree], Benesse Corporation Collection, Tama City, Tokyo, 1992

Le Monstre du Loch Ness, Collection of the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nice, 1992

La Tempérance, Luxembourg, 1992

Arbre serpents Fontaine, Collection of the Musée des beaux-arts, Angers, 1992

Oiseau Amoureux Fontaine (the “Lifesaver” Fountain), City of Duisburg Collection, Duisburg (Germany), 1993

Les Trois Grâces Fontaine, Kolon Industries, Inc. Collection, City of Gwacheon, South Korea, 1995

Nana Dansante (in blue), Sculpture Park at the Carmen Würth Forum, Künzelsau (Germany), 1995

Noah’s Ark Sculpture Park, the Jerusalem Foundation Collection; Tisch Family Zoological Gardens – The Biblical Zoo, Manahat, Jerusalem, 1995–2000

Black Nana, Kulturforum Collection, Würth (Switzerland), 1995–2004

Relief, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 1996

L’Ange Protecteur [Guardian Angel], Zurich Train Station, 1997

Nana on a dolphin, Hafentheater, Landungsbrücken St. Pauli, Hamburg, 1998

Bear, Forum Würth Collection, Rorschach (Switzerland), 1998

Dragon, Kulturforum Collection, Würth (Switzerland) 1998

Oiseau pour Jean-Jacques, Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris, 1998

Le Poète et sa muse, Collection of the Mingei International Museum, San Diego (CA), 1998

Miles Davis, Hôtel Negresco, Nice, 1999

Ricardo Cat, Laumeier Sculpture Park Collection, St. Louis (MO), 1999

# 19 Baseball Player, 1999, Waterfront Park, San Diego (CA), 1999

Large Seal, 1999, Waterfront Park, San Diego (CA), 1999

Nana Mosaïque Noire, Tarot Garden Foundation Collection, Italy, c. 1999

Grotto, Herrenhausen Gardens, Hanover 1999–2003

Big Nana Blue, Hafentheater, Landungsbrücken St. Pauli, Hamburg, 2000

Large Bull Totem, Forum Würth Collection, Rorschach (Switzerland), 2000

Buddha, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (Yorkshire), 2000

Pizza Oven, Restaurant Barbarella, La Jolla (CA), 2000

Nikigator, Forum Würth Collection, Rorschach (Switzerland), 2001

Grande Step Totem, California Center for the Arts, Escondido (CA), 2001

Coming Together, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego (CA), 2001

Nikigator, Collection of the Mingei International Museum, San Diego (CA), 2001

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, Iris Sankey Arboretum, Escondido (CA), 2003

Selected exhibitions

Selected exhibitions

Niki Mathews New York Gemälde, Gouachen, Galerie Restaurant Gotthard, St. Gallen (Switzerland), 1956

Salon Comparaisons : Peinture Sculpture, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1961, 1962

Feu à Volonté, Galerie J., Paris, 1961

Niki de Saint Phalle, Køpcke Gallery, Copenhagen, 1961

Action de tir, Everett Ellin Gallery, Los Angeles, 1962

Séance de Tirs, Malibu Hills, Malibu, 1962

Niki de Saint Phalle, Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, 1962

Niki de Saint Phalle, Alexander Iolas Gallery, New York, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967

The Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, 1963, 1964

Galerie Alexandre Iolas, Geneva, 1964, 1969

Niki de Saint Phalle, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Galerie Aujourd’hui, Brussels, 1964

Galerie Alexandre Iolas, Paris, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1974

Niki de Saint Phalle : Les Nanas au pouvoir, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1967

Gimpel & Hanover Galerie, Zurich, 1968, 1971

Niki de Saint Phalle, Hanover Gallery, London, 1968, 1969

Niki de Saint Phalle: Werke 1962-1968, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 1968

Niki de Saint Phalle, Kunstmuseum, Lucerne (Switzerland), 1969

Galerie Seriaal, Amsterdam, 1969, 1971

Les Nanas, Pavillon Baltard, Les Halles, Paris, 1970

Niki de Saint Phalle : Nana Power, La Hune, Paris, 1970

Niki de Saint Phalle : Serigraphien und kleine Skulpturen, Kammerkunsthalle, Bern, 1971

Niki de Saint Phalle : Nana Power polykroma skulpturer, Svensk-Franska Konstgallerier, Stockholm, 1971

Galerie Bonnier, Geneva, 1972, 1976, 1981, 1987, 1993, 1998

Gimpel Fils, London, 1972, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1991, 2000

Niki de Saint Phalle, Festival d’Arles, Monastère de Saint-Trophime, Arles, 1975

Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer Gallery, New York, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1990

Beelden, modellen en maquettes van Niki de Saint Phalle, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 1976

Niki de Saint Phalles sculpturer, Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg (Denmark), 1976

Niki de Saint Phalle, Watari Gallery, Tokyo, 1979, 1982

Niki de Saint Phalle: Objekte-Grafiken, Bawag Foundation, Vienna, 1980

Ulm Museum, Ulm (Germany), 1980, 1999

L’exposition rétrospective de Niki de Saint Phalle, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1980

Niki de Saint Phalle : Retrospektive 1954-1960, Nuremberg Kunsthalle, Nuremberg, 1980

Niki de Saint Phalle : Retrospektive 1954-1960, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, 1980

Niki de Saint Phalle : Retrospektive 1954-1960, Hanover Kunstmuseum, Hanover, 1980

L’exposition rétrospective de Niki de Saint Phalle, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 1980

Niki de Saint Phalle (opening exhibition), Space Niki, Tokyo, 1980

Niki de Saint Phalle, Knokke Casino, Knokke-le-Zoute (Belgium), 1985, 1993

Niki de Saint Phalle: Veistoksja ja reliefejä / Sculptures and reliefs, Kaj Forsblom Gallery, Helsinki, 1986

Niki de Saint Phalle: Bilder – Figuren – Phantastische Gärten, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich, 1987

Fantastic Vision: Works by Niki de Saint Phalle, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York, 1987

Niki de Saint Phalle: Lutte contre le sida, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1990

Niki de Saint Phalle au Château d’Arsac, Château d’Arsac, Margaux (France), 1991

Niki de Saint Phalle : SIDA…Aids, Reinhausen Gallery at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, 1992

Niki de Saint Phalle, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle, Bonn, 1992

Niki de Saint Phalle : L’invitation au musée, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1992

Niki de Saint Phalle : Aventure Suisse, Musée de l’Art et de l’Histoire, Fribourg (Switzerland), 1993

Les Footballers, Olympic Museum, Lausanne, 1993

Niki de Saint Phalle, Dimensions Gallery, Taipei, 1994

Niki de Saint Phalle (opening exhibition), Niki Museum, Nasu (Japan), 1994

Niki de Saint Phalle, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, 1995. Touring exhibition:

Museo de Arte Contemproràneo de Caracas Sofia Imber, Caracas;

Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá; Fundação Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro; Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Sala de Exposiciones Edificio CTC, Santiago de Chile

Niki de Saint Phalle : Graphik und Skulpturen, Kunstkabinett, Regensburg (Germany), 1996

Niki de Saint Phalle + Jean Tinguely, Kunst Raum, Bayreuth (Germany), 1997

Niki de Saint Phalle : Dear Diary, Kunstverein, Wolfsburg (Germany), 1997

Espace Jean Tinguely – Niki de Saint Phalle, Fribourg (Switzerland), 1999, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2018

Baseball Player & Basketball Player, San Diego Hall of Champions, Balboa Park, San Diego, 1999

Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, East County Cultural Zone, El Cajon (CA), 2000

La Fête. Die Schenkung Niki de Saint Phalle. Werke aus den Jahren 1952-200, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, 2000. Touring exhibition: Museum Tinguely, Basel

Niki de Saint Phalle : Les dieux de la musique et du sport, Écuries Saint-Hugues de Cluny, Cluny (France), 2001

Niki de Saint Phalle : La vie joyeuse des objets, Musée de la Publicité, Union des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2001

Niki de Saint Phalle : La donation, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC), Nice, 2002

Les Niki de Saint Phalle, Musée Mandet, Riom (France), 2002

Niki de Saint Phalle : Siebdrucke und Lithographien 1968 – 2001, Landestrost Castle, Neustadt am Rübengebirge (Germany), 2002

Sprengel Museum, Hanover (Germany), 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2016

Niki de Saint Phalle, Ernst Museum, Budapest, 2003

Niki de Saint Phalle, National Museum, Krakow, 2003

Homage to Niki de Saint Phalle, Caretta Shiodome, Tokyo, 2003

Zoo Exquis: L’arche Fantastique de Niki de Saint Phalle, Église de Pontgivart, Auménancourt (France), 2003

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, Escondido (CA), 2004, 2005, 2018

Niki de Saint Phalle, des assemblages aux œuvres monumentales, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Angers (France), 2004

Niki de Saint Phalle – Early works & prints from the collection of the MAMAC, Nice, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, 2004

Nana Power: Die Frauen der Niki de Saint Phalle, Schloss Neuhardenberg, Berlin, 2005

Niki de Saint Phalle: Retrospective, Daimaru Museum, Umeda (Japan), 2006. Touring exhibition: Daimaru Museum, Tokyo; Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya City; Fukui City Art Museum, Fukui City

Niki in the Garden: The Extraordinary Sculptures of Niki de Saint Phalle, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, 2006. Touring exhibition: Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago; Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis

Niki de Saint Phalle : Vive l’amour ! Palais Bénédictine, Fécamp (France), 2006

Dreams of Midsummer: Works of Niki de Saint Phalle, Macao Museum of Art, Macao, 2006. Touring exhibition: Korean National Museum of Contemporary Arts, Seoul; National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan

Niki de Saint Phalle, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, 2008

Hommage à Niki de Saint Phalle. Le Jardin des Tarots, La Coupole, Paris, 2008

Les boîtes à secrets de Niki, Musée en Herbe, Paris, 2008

Niki de Saint Phalle: Joie de Vivre – Alegria de Viver, Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, Évora (Portugal), 2009. Touring exhibition: Palazzo dell’Abbondanza, Massa Marittima (Italy); Castello Aldobrandesco di Arcidosso, Amiata (Italy); Fortezza Orsini, Sorano (Italy); Fundació Julià Reig, Musée du Tabac, Andorra la Vella, Andorra

Niki de Saint Phalle, Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum Schloss Gottorf, Gottorf (Germany), 2009

Niki de Saint Phalle: Mythen – Märchen – Träume, Kulturforum Würth, Chur (Switzerland), 2009

Niki de Saint Phalle, Kunsthandlung Osper, Cologne, 2009

Sculpture Project: Niki de Saint Phalle, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., 2010

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, 2011, 2014

Niki de Saint Phalle, Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch-Hall (Germany), 2011. Touring exhibition: Max Ernst Museum, Brühl (Germany)

Niki de Saint Phalle: The Girl, the Monster and the Goddess, Moderna Museet, Malmö (Sweden), 2012. Touring exhibition: Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Niki de Saint Phalle, Le Grand Palais, Paris, 2014. Touring exhibition: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Le Jardin de Tarots Niki de Saint Phalle. Photographic exhibition, Le Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval, Hauterives (France), 2014

La Cabeza, Le Cent Quatre, Paris, 2014

Niki de Saint Phalle, Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen (Netherlands), 2015

Niki de Saint Phalle, National Art Center, Tokyo, 2015

At Last I Found the Treasure. Niki de Saint Phalle and the theatre, Kunst- und Kulturstiftung Opelvillen, Rüsselsheim (Germany), 2016

Ich bin eine Kämpferin. Frauenbilder der Niki de Saint Phalle, Museum Ostwall, Dortmund (Germany), 2016

Niki de Saint Phalle: Von den Nanas zum Tarotgarten, Herbert Gerisch-Stiftung, Neumünster (Germany), 2017

Niki de Saint Phalle, Museo Ettore Fico, Turin (Italy), 2017

Niki de Saint Phalle: works from the Masuda collection, Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, 2018

HON: Niki de Saint Phalle & Shen Yuan, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2018. Touring exhibition: Today Art Museum, Beijing

Amour, une histoire des Manières d’aimer, Musée du Louvre-Lens, Lens, 2018

Selected bibliography

Selected bibliography

Pierre Descargues, Niki de Saint Phalle, Paris, A. Iolas, 1965

Pierre Descargues, Niki de Saint Phalle, les Nanas au pouvoir, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1967

Pontus Hultén, Jean Tinguely, une magie plus forte que la mort, Paris, Le Chemin Vert, 1987

Jean-Louis Ferrier, Yann Le Pichon, L’Aventure de l’art au xxe siècle, Paris, Éditions du Chêne-Hachette, 1988

Niki de Saint Phalle, la Donation, Nice, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC), 2002

Itzhak Goldberg, Françoise Monnin, La Sculpture moderne au musée d’art moderne, Paris, Scala-Centre Georges Pompidou, 2007

Marella Caracciolo Chia, Jill Johnston and Giulio Pietromarchi, Niki de Saint-Phalle et le jardin des tarots, Paris, Hazan, 2010

Various, Niki de Saint Phalle, catalogue raisonné, Lausanne, Acatos, 2010

Catherine Francblin, Niki de Saint Phalle, la révolte à l’œuvre, Paris, Hazan, 2013

Various, Grand Palais, Niki de Saint Phalle, Paris, RMN, 2014, catalogue compiled in conjunction with the Grand Palais in Paris and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao with contributions from the Niki Charitable Art Foundation in Santee (CA)

Élisabeth Reynaud, Niki de Saint Phalle : Il faut faire saigner la peinture ! Paris, Éditions Écriture, 2014

Béatrice Nodé-Langlois, Niki de Saint Phalle au Grand Palais, La Critique parisienne, No. 72, Christmas 2014

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