/// Niki de SAINT PHALLE (1930-2002) ///
Gray monkey with mango, 2000
Color screenprint on openwork paper.
on the back "Niki de Saint-Phalle 2000 and Productions Flammarion 4"
/// Biography of Niki de SAINT PHALLE (1930-2002) ///
Catherine de Saint-Phalle, known as Niki de Saint Phalle, born in Neuilly-sur-Seine (department of Seine) on October 29, 1930 and died in La Jolla (county of San Diego, California, United States) on May 21, 2002 , is a Franco-American visual artist, painter, sculptor and filmmaker.
Niki de Saint Phalle was first a model, then a mother before approaching art as a self-taught artist. She did not follow any academic artistic education, but was nourished by abundant artistic exchanges with her elders and contemporaries. Inspired by several currents, art brut, outsider art, she began to paint in 1952. In 1961, she was a member of the New Realists group, like Gérard Deschamps, César, Mimmo Rotella, Christo and Yves Klein. First wife of Harry Mathews, with whom she has two children, she married in second marriage with the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely in 1971. With him, she will realize a large number of sculpture-architecture, either on order, or just for fun. Together, they realized in France the Stravinsky fountain on order of State to Niki, and Le Cyclop, creation of Jean, without building permit.
In addition to the Shoots, performances that made her internationally famous since the 1960s, Niki has created a large number of monumental sculptures in sculpture parks. Some were made on his own initiative and with his personal funds such as that of the Tarot Garden in Tuscany, or the Queen Califia's Magical Circle, in Kit Carson's park in Escondido, in the city of Escondido, (California).
Others have been commissioned by states or local communities. In Jerusalem, the municipality commissioned in 1971 a monster for children, The Golem, inaugurated in 1972 in Rabinovitch Park, which now bears the familiar name of The Monster Park. In 1994, the Jerusalem Foundation placed him a second commission for the Biblical Zoo. Niki produced a set of animal sculptures entitled L'Arche de Noé, which she completed in 1998. In 1987, François Mitterrand commissioned her, together with Jean Tinguely, for the Château-Chinon fountain.
Playing on her beauty, on her talent for wearing the strangest clothes, the artist quickly attracted the attention of the media to her and at the same time to the couple she formed with her companion who then became her husband, Jean Tinguely1. But if the media have let themselves be taken by this apparent casualness, art historians, such as Camille Morineau, Pontus Hultén or Amelia Jones, have well remembered her strong, disproportionate works and her risk-taking. Niki de Saint Phalle leaves behind an immense work of which she has made generous donations, in particular to the Sprengel Museum Hannover and to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice.
She defended the posterity of her companion by working for the opening of the Tinguely museum in Basel. (Source Wikipedia)