Last month, Cultivist members visited MoMA PS1 to see Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life, on view through September 6. Our tour included an introduction from the exhibition's curator, Jody Graf. Read on to learn more about the artist known for her fantastical works which often touched on pressing social issues.
FIRST MAJOR US EXHIBITION
This exhibition at MoMA PS1 is the visionary feminist artist, Niki de Saint Phalle’s first major US exhibition. The show hosts 200 works by Saint Phalle and reflects her multidisciplinary approach and engagement with social issues. The exhibition features an overview of her career but really hones in on thoughts around architecture and the built environment, as well as her works for the public, which are represented through models of her projects.
Saint Phalle stands out as an artist pushing the boundaries and artistic norms, using performative techniques to produce works. For example, shooting at her canvases or sculpting large scale, aggressive and feminine figures. In her later career, she pushed her work even further with several architectural projects and sculpture gardens that took her work into the public sphere. She created immersive sculpture parks, books, films, and even her own perfume.
USE OF COLOR
Saint Phalle’s use of color is hard to ignore and a key theme in her practice. The aggressive use of color reflects the message of her work, as it was often very confrontational in subject. Whether it was feminism, the AIDS crisis, or personal tragedy, she faced it head on.