Niki de Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle | Niki de Saint Phalle
Henie Onstad

A survey in Norway of the artist's career

Installation Views

Along with other media-savvy artists like Andy Warhol, Niki de Saint Phalle developed a new role for the artist in close dialogue with the media of television especially.

She was a key figure in the new generation of young artists who, at the beginning of the 1960s, were redefining the boundaries of what an artwork could be. Around this time, experimental artists like Saint Phalle were showing us that, in addition to static sculpture or painting, art could also be a happening or a performance. In addition, Saint Phalle had a clear sociopolitical agenda and feminist commitment throughout her career. To an increasing degree she worked in close dialogue with society and her audience, and by about the mid-1970s she also invited them into monumental architectonic constructions in public settings.

Saint Phalle was a pioneer in her own time, shattering boundaries for what a woman could express and do in public, for herself and for other women.

This exhibition explores the most important thematic periods in Niki de Saint Phalle’s body of work through a “semi-chronological” presentation. It begins with Saint Phalle’s early oil paintings and assemblage works from the end of the 1950s and then invites us to experience her famous “shooting paintings.” Thereafter, her “white period” is presented, and the many different sculptures of women in all manner of color and form, the so-called Nanas.

The exhibition also examines Saint Phalle’s interest in film and theater, and devotes space to her work in public settings that culminated in the great The Tarot Garden in Tuscany, which she continued to work on up until her death.

The exhibition is realized in collaboration with the Niki de Saint Phalle Charitable Foundation.

Images courtesy Henie Onstad Kunstsenter. Photos by PØystein Thorvaldsen.