Art By Niki De Saint Phalle On Display At Kimball Art Center

Jul 16, 2018

Credit Niki de Saint Phalle. Dawn (jaune), 1993 © 2018 NIKI CHARITABLE ART FOUNDATION, All rights reserved. Photo Pietromarchi

The Kimball Art Center is welcoming a new exhibit.

The Kimball Art Center will be welcoming an exhibit featuring the art of  Niki de Saint Phalle starting this Friday evening. Nancy Stoakes is the curator for the center.

“The Kimball is so excited to be presenting the fantastic work of Niki de Saint Phalle. (Her) work has recently been presented in retrospective exhibitions at these fantastic institutions in Europe.” Stoakes said, “To be able to bring it here to the Kimball and share it with our community is such an exciting opportunity.”

The exhibit runs from July 21st to September 16th. Stoakes says they have nearly 30 pieces from Saint Phalle’s work.

“It ranges from her early mixed media pieces and shooting paintings to sculpture and prints. So, it presents a great range of her work and shows how her very unique visual language crossed these various boundaries; and showed up in her early work, in her late work, and across different mediums.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s early 1960s work, called the shooting paintings, was the subject of Stoakes master’s thesis.

“What (she) was doing was placing bags of paint beneath a layer of plaster and then she would take a rifle and actually shoot at the paintings. The blo-, the paint would spurt out and create this very evocative very colorful fantastic visual experience. I almost said (blood) because the way she has talked about the paintings has been very provocative. She would talk about the painting bleeding almost.” Stoakes continued, “We’re really excited as part of the exhibition to show the richness of her ideas, and how she executed them. We have all sorts of interesting discussions around feminist art, and art making opportunities that can really help people to dive into the ideas.”

The Kimball will have several events while the exhibit is on display. On July 27th and August 31st, the Kimball will host Feminist Friday events.

“It’s going to take place in the gallery with her work in front of us. We really just want to provide an opportunity to look at art, and also ask questions. (To) have some informal, but in-depth discussions that can bring relevance to the act of viewing her work.”

On August 8th and 15th the Kimball will host a two-session class where participants will get to mimic Saint Phalle’s Nanas.

“It’s another body of work that she’s really well known for. (Nanas are) these sculptures of women that are colorful and lively, posed in these fanciful, mid-frolic positions. They’re really fun, we’re going to be doing some art making around those forms as well.”

On August 11th is the “Fire Away” event at the Kimball

“(We’ll be) going back to her shooting paintings and thinking about making these mixed media pieces of different materials. Then creating the evocative colorful surface that she was able to achieve through the shooting of the paintings but using in this case spray bottles.”

The exhibit has a community opening this Friday, July 20th, from 6:00-8:00 pm. For more information visit Kimball Art Center dot org