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Niki de Saint Phalle Paperback – June 23, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


The show opens with collages and paintings in earnest dialogue with Pollock, Dubuffet, and Rauschenberg that the self-taught artist made between the ages of 28 and 31. From 1960 to 1963 she executed her famous Tirs (Shoot) pieces, which drip like Pollocks but which de Saint Phalle produced by shooting a rifle at balloons of colorful paint mounted on white canvases. In the early 1960s, this aristocratic Catholic woman who’d been brought up in a strict household attacked the church with sculptures in the shape of altars strewn with crucifixes. In the mid-‘60s she constructed giant, heavy-hearted bride-ghosts and modern Venus of Willendorfs squeezing out babies. In perfectly calibrated formal choices, de Saint Phalle disfigured long-held articles of faith ― high art, the family, the church.

But then, seemingly out of nowhere, came the Nanas, those girls as heart-stoppingly different from de Saint Phalle’s previous work as Cézanne’s “The Eternal Feminine” is from any of his still lifes or Mondrian’s grids are from his early writhing trees. These Nanas ― rotund, ebullient, hungry girls dressed in bold primary colors ― twirl on tippy toes and look like they’re having a grand old time. They glance back at French art history to Matisse’s jubilant dancers and the sturdy females of Gaston Lachaise and Aristide Maillol, and even, surprisingly, to Rodin. -- Eunice Lipton ― Hyperallergic

The book is expansive, taking us from her beginnings with writer Harry Mathews, to happenings and the theater, to the end of her creatively fruitful life in 2002. It contains a marvelously detailed timeline, giving a sense of why a lot of her art looks the way it does ― with a palpable rage, always a contemptuousness flirting with a kind of heartbreaking and joyous beauty. -- Paul Maziar ―

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ La Fábrica/Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; 1st edition (June 23, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 841569198X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-8415691983
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 5.25 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.8 x 1.3 x 11.7 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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