Sunday, July 6, 2008

Missouri Botanical Gardens

The Avant-Garden
Niki at the Missouri Botanical Garden is the first time the works of artist Niki de Saint Phalle have been seen in St. Louis in an exhibition of this magnitude. Forty monumental mosaic sculptures made in a rainbow of colors and materials from fiberglass, stones, glass, and mirrors are placed throughout the Garden. The sculptures range up to 18 feet tall, and some weigh up to a ton or more, such as the amazing six-ton skull.
Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) was a citizen of the world: born near Paris, raised in New York, traveled in Europe, and later worked in Switzerland, France, Israel, Italy and finally California. She was the only female member of Europe's New Realist art movement, a contemporary of American Pop Art. She collaborated with artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and also with Jean Tinguely, whom she later married.
Enjoy the pictures.....I will be adding some each day of different themes.
The musicians; part of the black heroes series. As a young girl, Niki felt she lacked heroines. Later in life, she created the black heroes series for her biracial great-grandson. I also have shown some close-ups of their jackets. Just beautiful mosaic work.

A closer look at Louie Armstrong's jacket.

Louis Armstrong

This one was located in the Climatron and was entitled "Adam and Eve".

The following are Niki's best-known series, "nanas" is French slang for "chicks" or "babes." She called them "heralds of a new matriarchal age." They were made in the 1960's and made their creator famous. They became a symbol of female empowerment.

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