The self-taught outsider French artist Niki de Saint Phalle started getting insider attention in the early sixties with her Target Paintings where she used a gun to shoot paint balls at a canvas. Upon impact the paint balls burst and colored the relief. The aggressive act of shooting helped her to come to terms with the troubled relationship she had with her father.
These were art pieces as much about performance as the art itself. One of her works was "shot" by artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Action and chance were as important as the finished work. Saint Phalle stopped making these works in 1963, explaining "I had become addicted to shooting, like one becomes addicted to a drug." It was her Nanas, whch she started making in 1964, that made Niki de Saint Phalle famous.
Saint Phalle is featured with major retrospective of her work at Paris Grand Palais (until February 2, 2015). The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures and prints along with rarely seen videos.
Saint Phalle was born in 1930, in Neuilly Sur Seine and died in 2002, at the age of 71 in La Jolla, California. As a teenager she was a fashion model and appeared on the covers of Life and Elle Magazine. She is best known for her public art projects such as The Stravinsky Fountain next to the Centre Pompidou in Paris (1983), The Tarot Garden at Garavicchio in southern Tuscany (1998), The Grotto in Hannover’s Royal Herrenhausen Garden (2003), and The Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in California (2003).
The exhibition features examples of the various phases of her work, such as her early collage and assemblage pieces, her acclaimed Target Pieces from the early 1960s, sculptural figures brilliantly colored with mirrored mosaics and her buxom, colorful female iconic Nanas.
Article link: http://parisvoice.com/index.php/art/753-niki-de-saint-phalle-paris-retrospective