Niki de Saint Phalle, Paradis Retrouvé

19 October - 30 November 2022

Opera Gallery Paris is delighted to present Niki de Saint Phalle, Paradis Retrouvé, displaying the dynamic and feminist works conveyed through her beautiful and fantastical world. About thirty exceptional works by the Franco-American artist are presented, highlighting her creativity through a variety of techniques and materials in a universe populated by imaginary animals and colourful Nanas. The exhibition draws parallels with the famous Tarot Garden, a group of sculptures made in Tuscany between 1979 and 1993, which recreates his dreamlike style on a human scale. Niki de Saint Phalle’s passion for esotericism and her practice of palmistry was also inspired by the divination of tarot cards. Within her oeuvre we see allusions to the Garden of Eden with the imposing sculpture of Adam and Eve and the recurring and iconic image of the snake, as well as that of the tree of life.


Throughout her career, Saint Phalle never ceased to weave fragments of her own life into her work. The cathartic benefits of the creative act thus offered her the opportunity to escape into a world that obeyed its own codes. Her rounded figures, often monumental, tame the demons that inhabit the artist. Paradis Retrouvé is in this sense a fantastic garden imagined by Saint Phalle, inhabited by gigantic sculptures and devouring monsters. This places the art of Saint Phalle “between two poles, Heaven and Hell”, as Pierre Restany, New Realism art critic, said regarding her oeuvre. Her work acted as a form of therapy, allowing her to externalize the pains and reveries she grew up with.


This exhibition brings together a set of works illustrating this imaginary paradise that she has built and invites the viewer to immerse themself in a dreamlike journey.