Niki De Saint Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle is a French-American artist who was born in 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and grew up in New York. A self-taught artist, she lived and worked between France, Switzerland and the United States. She died in 2002 in La Jolla, California, USA.


Niki de Saint Phalle was part of the Nouveaux Réalistes group, which she joined in 1964 through her husband, artist Jean Tinguely. She first received worldwide attention for angry, violent assemblages, which she had shot using firearms. These evolved into Nanas, light-hearted, whimsical, colorful, large-scale sculptures of animals, monsters, and female figures, first made of wool, yarn, paper-maché and wire scaffoldings and later made of polyester. These voluptuous female figures served to represent the ideal archetype for women in modern society, and can be seen in cities and museums all over the world.


Saint Phalle's monumental works are exhibited at the Stravinsky Fountain, next to the Pompidou in Paris (1983), the Tarot Garden in Garavicchio, South of Tuscany (1998), the Grotto in the Royal Garden Herrenhausen of Hannover (2003), and Queen Califia's Magic Circle in California (2003). Her works are also held in the collections of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Musée d'Art Moderne d'Art Contemporain in Nice, among others.

Niki de Saint-Phalle in her studio outside Paris, 1971 Photo © Jack Nisberg/Condé Nast


Niki De Saint Phalle Le Miroir1980

Polyester painted wood, mirrored glass

105,9 x 152 x 25,4 cm | 41.7 x 59.8 x 10 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Je suis à l'envers1998

Acrylic on polyester resin

117 x 80 x 14 cm | 46.1 x 31.5 x 5.5 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Fauteuil noir1980

Polyester paint

102 x 79 x 70 cm | 40.2 x 31.1 x 27.6 in


Niki De Saint Phalle White Tree1972

Resin polyester joined on a wood panel

244,5 x 122 x 22 cm | 96.3 x 48 x 8.7 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Ange vase1993

Painted polyester, iron base

99 x 57 x 32 cm | 39 x 22.4 x 12.6 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Adam et Eve1985

Polyester and painted fiberglass

154 x 185 x 158 cm | 60.6 x 72.8 x 62.2 in


Niki De Saint Phalle L'oiseau amoureux1988

Watercolour, coloured chalk and acrylic on japan paper laid on silk

260 x 285 cm | 102.4 x 112.2 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Nana moyenne danseuse1968

Painted resin

58 x 40 x 20 cm | 22.8 x 15.7 x 7.9 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Le Faucon bleu

Painted polyester, metal, light bulbs and electric systems

66 x 37 x 21 cm | 26 x 14.6 x 8.3 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Untitled1979

Polyester resin and acrylic

17,8 x 30,5 cm | 7 x 12 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Running Nana1966

Painted papier-mâché

71 x 72,5 x 39 cm | 28 x 28.5 x 15.4 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Oiseau amoureux2000

Painted resin

60 x 48 x 23 cm | 23.6 x 18.9 x 9.1 in


Niki De Saint Phalle Lady with Handbag2000

Painted resin

63 x 36 x 10 cm | 24.8 x 14.2 x 3.9 in


Niki De Saint Phalle The Sun1984

Painted polyester

32,7 x 48,9 cm | 12.9 x 19.3 in