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Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) France

Niki de Saint Phalle was a self-taught French sculptor, painter and film producer. During visits to Madrid and Barcelona, she discovered the art of Antonio Gaudi, which influenced her immediately. The experience generated new potential in her artistic development, and de Saint Phalle decided to make her own monumental sculpture park, just as Gaudi had done. The garden in Tuscany, “Giardino dei Tarocchi” was finished in 1998 and had been bought nearly twenty years earlier. The park contains sculptures of the symbols on Tarot cards. Niki de Saint Phalle spent a long time investigating the roles of women by making female dolls out of papier mache. The dolls are called “Nanas” and were first presented in Paris in 1965. The following year, she created the giant-like sculpture installation “Hon – en katedral” (She – A Cathedral) at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, which was a collaboration with Jean Tinguely and Per Olof Ultvedt. The sculpture was an enormous “Nana” that could be entered through a door located between the figure’s legs. The installation and the name “Hon - en katedral” aroused an enormous amount of international attention. De Saint Phalle later married her collaborative partner, Jean Tinguely.


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