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Niki de Saint Phalle at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

(Italiano) Le forme, i colori e le ispirazioni della grande artista francese

by Virginia Ricci
February 13th, 2015

People think she is famous for the beautiful, colourful sculptures of Stravinsky Fountain next to the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, or for the modern sculpture Loch Ness Monster in Nice

Actually Niki de Saint Phalle is obviously much more than that. Born in 1930, after the 1929 crash, she lived a changeable childhood. When she was 2 she moved to her grandparents; she met her family a few years later in the United States, that she called “the hell” for family quarrels, hypocrisies and the hated rules of religious education she was forced to follow. When she was a beautiful 18-year-old girl, with the reminiscences of her rape by her father when she was only 11, she run away from home and moved to New York City where she started modelling: Vogue, Life, Harper’s Bazaar. After the first marriage and two sons with the musician and author Harry Matthews, in order to escape from hypocrisies and American McCarthyism, she came back to France where she suffered a nervous breakdown: in that period she understood how art could soothe her by combining recycled objects she painted with her naïve style made of monsters and fairies. In 1956, when she was only 26, her first exhibition thanks to the meeting of Jean Tinguely – who became the big love of her life. She belongs to New Realism current and still today she is considered one of the leading women of this art (and, in general, one of the most important feminist artists of XX century). Her art is public, so she marked every city she lived with colourful artworks: Paris, Zurich and San Diego, city she chose to live her laters years for the more suitable climate, perfect for her fragile body. Still marked by the past, in search of beauty and stability she created in her round shape artworks: “I love the round, the curves, the undulation, the world is round, the world is a breast”.

February 27, 2015 – June 11, 2015

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