Niki de Saint Phalle: Legendary Female Artist of the 20th Century and Her Wonderland

Opening time:2018-11-22,15:00
Duration: 2018.11.23 -- 2019.03.10
Location: 2F, 3F, 4F Exhibition Hall of Building No.1

Exhibition Preface

Niki de Saint Phalle is one of the most legendary female artists in the 20th century. Today, it is a great honor for Today Art Museum to present the large retrospective exhibition of Niki de Saint Phalle to Chinese audiences. The inspiration of the whole exhibition is the “Tarot Garden” built by Saint Phalle in Italy. A reproduced garden wonderland is now in this art gallery. Meanwhile, following timeline, this exhibition presents important works of Saint Phalle since 1960s and her comprehensive practice in painting, sculpture, performing art, conceptual art, feminist art, large-scale public art and movie.

As the contemporary of Andy Warhol, Saint Phalle is also an artist famous for her unique creativity in the era of media communication. In the early 1960s, she appeared in the art circle as an outsider and created the famous “shooting painting”, making her a pivotal figure of “New Réalisme” in Europe. This led to “conceptualization” in painting and sculpture. After 1965, she shaped the female images of “Bride”, “Nana” and “Devouring Mother”, which intervened in the social criticism from the perspective of feminist. This became an era rebel echoing feminism. From 1970s, she began to participate in public art. The representative “Tarot Garden” is the art of human wisdom and nature. Multiple legends, religions and disciplines were echoed in this garden. The curatorial team of this exhibition went to Tuscany of Italy and San Diego of America to carry out investigations. They collected a large amount of documentations and present Saint Phalle’s documentaries in the exhibition hall. Through Saint Phalle’s voices and historical images, the audiences can track Saint Phalle’s forty-year art history visually and acoustically: her anger and repression, her nightmare and happiness, her criticism and fight. Saint Phalle created a world of imagination in her lifetime. In this world, she encourages people to look into themselves, to overcome the barrier of emotion, and to use art to shape a broader world.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Niki Charitable Art Foundation, Galerie Jean-Gabriel MITTERRAND and Shanghai Activation Liquid for their support to this exhibition, as well as the exhibition team for their huge efforts in this program. Also, I want to give special thanks to Ms. Bloum Cardenas, the granddaughter of Niki de Saint Phalle, who is in charge of Niki Charitable Art Foundation. It is her faith and persistence that makes the exhibition in Beijing possible. Bloum said“Niki de Saint Phalle will bless us.She must be looking forward to the large retrospective exhibition to meet with Chinese audiences”.

                                                                                                                Alex Gao

                                                                                                                Director of Today Art Museum


Alex Gao


Niki de Saint Phalle