Niki de Saint Phalle

How did I miss this wonderful sculptress for so long? Her themes are mythology, gods and goddesses, feminism, and works that evoke Jungian dreamwork. Wonderful, bright colors, rounded shapes and images, use of found objects and movement. Large and small sculpture and paintings. Sun gods, snakes, birds, gold, bold colors, electric lights. Wonderful, complex, disturbing works.

A favorite is La Cabeza (The Head) which is inspired by the Mexican Dia de los Muertos:

Dial 704-353-9255 for the museum’s description of the piece.

Showing at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, where I sought it out after seeing a bus-shelter poster. Loved the exhibit, which included both installations in an outdoor park and half of one floor of the museum. I was enthralled.

A major project of hers was the creation of a garden of sculpture based on Tarot cards, Il Giardino dei Tarcchi.

Alas, she paid little attention to the health effects of her materials and died of respiratory failure, no doubt partly caused by inhaling fiberglass dust after long exposure in the studio.

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