Painter Sculptor
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See works by this artist

Born in France in 1930, Niki de Saint Phalle followed her family to the United States after a stock market crash. She first worked as a model for Vogue, Life and Elle magazines. Then, encouraged by the painter Hugo Weiss, she embarked on her artistic career.


De Saint Phalle was made famous by "Les Tirs", performances at which the spectators were invited to shoot rifles at pouches of colour, splashing it on plaster sculptures. She subsequently joined the New Realist Mouvement, and played the role of mediator between the French and American avant-gardes. She created the "Ex-Votos" and then the "Nanas", a series of shapely and colourful women made of wire netting, paper maché and polyester.


Her later works, such as La Fontaine Igor Stravinski in front of Beaubourg in Paris, the Tarot Garden in Capalbio in Tuscany, and the Meta-Tinguely in honor of her deceased husband, mix poetry, humour, playfulness and anguish.


Niki de Saint Phalle also became an engaged member of an AIDS association. In 2002, she succombed to a respiratory illness caused by the toxic vapors she inhaled while making her art.


New realism

Major works

  • La Baigneuse (ou Nana de Berlin)


  • 2010
    Château de Malbrouck, Manderen, France
  • 1999
    Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany
  • 1998
    Mingei International Museum, San Diego, USA
  • 1994
    Opening of Niki's Museum, Nasu, Japan
  • 1992
    Art and Exhibition Museum, Bonn, Germany
  • 1987
    Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Roslyn, USA
  • 1980
    Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
  • 2014
    Grand Palais, Paris, France
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