De Saint Phalle Niki (1930-2002)
French painter and sculptress, she was born in the suburbs of Paris but grew up in New York. Very young she married the American writer Harry Matthews and after the divorce she lived in Paris with the sculptor Jean Tinguely. She joined the artistic group Nouveaux Realism. At the exhibitions of the group she acquired fame by presenting the Shooting paintings, but her artistic consecration happened with the Nanas, sculptures made from various materials and representing female figures often in a provocative manner, fact that confuses the traditionalists ensuring to her a growing popularity, with the installation of her works in several European cities. From the collaboration with Tinguely started the huge project of the Tarot Garden, an artistic garden realized in Tuscany and inspired by Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona and by the Garden of Bomarzo: a group of twenty-two monumental sculptures inspired by the major arcana of the Tarot, built in reinforced concrete and covered with a mosaic of mirrors, glass and ceramic. Always with Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle realized Igor Stravinsky fountain in the square of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The artist’s works have been presented in numerous international exhibitions around the world.