Niki de Saint Phalle - Paradis retrouvé (Paradise Found) 21 october - 30 november 2022.
Adam and Eve, 1985. Polyester and painted fiberglass. 154 x 185 x 158 cm | 60.6 x 72.8 x 62.2 in.
To close its annual programming, Opera Gallery in Paris is pleased to present, from Oct. 21 to Nov. 30, Paradise Found, an exhibition dedicated to Niki de Saint Phalle.
More than twenty exceptional works by the French-American artist will be presented, highlighting her creativity through a variety of techniques and materials in a universe populated by imaginary animals and colorful Nanas.
A feminist and intellectually committed artist, Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) belonged to the New Realists group, which she joined in 1961 after meeting Jean Tinguely.
Throughout her career, she never stopped integrating episodes from her life into her works. Paradise Found is in this sense a fantasy garden imagined by Niki de Saint Phalle, inhabited by creatures and characters representative of her environment.
The cathartic benefits of the creative act thus offer her the opportunity to escape into a world that obeys its own codes. Her artistic figures, often monumental, tame the demons that inhabit the artist. Her work is therapeutic and allows her to externalize the pains and dreams she grew up with. This exhibition brings together a collection of works that illustrate the imaginary paradise she has constructed for herself through art.
The exhibition is structured around figures drawn from religious iconography, referencing the Garden of Eden, particularly with the imposing sculpture of Adam and Eve and the recurring and iconic image of the serpent, as well as that of the tree of life. Niki de Saint Phalle’s passion for esotericism and her practice of palmistry also drew inspiration from divinatory tarot cards. Many of her works are key symbols, such as the sun, in the image of the Sun God. The exhibition draws parallels with the famous Tarot
Garden, a group of sculptures made in Tuscany between 1979 and 1993, which recreates his dreamlike style on a smaller scale.
Adam and Eve (1985), one of the exhibition’s highlights, immediately transports us to the enchanted world imagined by Niki de Saint Phalle. The biblical paradise highlights this original state of freedom and happiness, in which men and women evolve as equals. Because of its imposing size, the work will be displayed in a dedicated space outside the gallery, which the public can visit in parallel with the exhibition.
Among the works presented is White Tree (1972), which is part of this Garden of Eden and stands more than two meters tall. This ensemble represents the tree of life, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, at the center of the lost paradise. Here it consists of a myriad of small relief figures-skulls, spiders and hybrid creatures-representing respectively the ephemeral condition of existence and the passage of time, the artist’s mother and the evils of humanity.
Another mural, The Mirror (1980), illustrates the figure of the snake, which is found throughout the exhibition, both as an embodiment of the artist’s fears and as a symbol of female power. Although this theme has existed since antiquity, Niki de Saint Phalle renews it as a decorative object in its own right, where the viewer can contemplate her reflection framed by the snake, an irresistible temptation.
The Mirror, 1980. Styrofoam, painted wood, mirror, 105.9 x 152 x 25.4 cm | 41.7 x 59.8 x 10 in.
Freedom is also represented in this exhibition, particularly by The Loving Bird (2000), an essential symbol of the artist’s work; it is an ambivalent figure, sometimes embodying a threat, while at other times it can also illustrate an escape to the afterlife. Birds, according to Niki de Saint Phalle, are messengers from one world to another and, in a sense, her guardian angels. «When I spread its wings, I breathe,» she said in 1980.
Another central work, the majestic 1993 painted marble Nana, is a giant woman-goddess, strong but light because she is free of all constraints. Women have been central to Niki de Saint Phalle’s work from the beginning. Her Nanas, made beginning in the 1960s, remain her most iconic and undoubtedly best known works. After seeing one of her friends pregnant and in bloom, she decided to create brightly colored women with naive workmanship and voluptuous shapes decorated with hearts, suns or flowers. These conquering figures breathe joie de vivre and evoke freedom, the emancipation of women, their power and the expression of their bodies.
Opera Gallery in Paris offers an immersive experience in the imagination of this exceptional and daring artist, whose works will take you on a journey through a multifaceted and colorful garden.
Nana, 1993. Painted marble. 190,5 x 109,2 x 55,9 cm | 75 x 43 x 22 inИсточник – сайт сетевого СМИ artmoskovia.ru.
Вы можете оказать поддержку нашему СМИ, пожертвовав произвольную сумму денежных средств по предложенной ссылке или воспользоваться QR-кодом. Оператор пожертвований – сервис CloudTips (от Тинькофф и CloudPayments).
С уважением и благодарностью, главный редактор Ольга Неснова.