October 9, 2014

All power to the Nanas

I know I am back in Paris again when, after having dropped off Expat daughter at her acting class, I am spoilt for choice of which museum to visit on a Thursday evening before I need to pick her up again 90 minutes later.

A stroll down Avenue Montaigne - a bit of window shopping never does any harm - and I am standing at the side entrance of the magnificent Grand Palais, the largest existing art-nouveau ironwork and glass structure in the world currently featuring a colourful sculpture placed in the middle of its 19th century garden fountain.

Niki de Saint Phalle is just up my street with all her colourful and opulent pieces of art. I realise how little I actually do know about this eccentric lady apart that in her young years she was an accomplished model and later married the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely.

Her artistic expression of the proverbial everywoman were named 'Nanas'. The first of these freely posed forms—made of papier-mâché, yarn, and cloth—were exhibited in Paris in September 1965. "For me, my sculptures, represent the amplified world of women, women's delusions of grandeur, women in today's world, women in power." Niki de Saint Phalle once stated.

My conclusion: 90 minutes were not enough to appreciate this rich and very varied body of work.

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