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Belles ! Belles ! Belles ! – Les femmes de Niki de Saint Phalle

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Belles ! Belles ! Belles ! – Les femmes de Niki de Saint Phalle

Designed in the form of a “women’s magazine”, the catalog Belles ! Belles ! Belles ! Les femmes de Niki de Saint Phalle is devoted to the representation of the female body in the innovative, feminist and avant-garde work of Niki de Saint Phalle.

“Lacan claimed that THE woman does not exist. He must have known Niki de Saint Phalle. Because in the work of the artist the woman is not one, but many. Tall and muscular, plastered and hairy, old and fragile, filthy shrews, sylph-like brides, pot-women, belly-women flayed alive, dancing and swirling light giants, white matrons, black matrons, Niki has turned her back on the ideal of beauty in order to paint and sculpt all possible and impossible types of women, all kinds of out-of-the ordinary, disturbing feminine morphologies, attesting that beauty is always bizarre. To treat the feminine, indeed, to expose its anguishes and its revolts, its dreams, its power and its poetry, always returns for the artist to put in scene bodies. (…) All that it is given to the women to live is then incarnated in its figures which derogate as well from the ordinary diagrams of the representation as from the solemn principles devoted by the social morals. The habit of dividing the artist’s work into periods, and in particular between a before and an after of the irruption of the Nanas, has made us lose sight of the importance she attaches, the meaning she gives to the exhibition of the multiple bodies of women, whether they are suffering or bleeding like those of parturients or whether they breathe health. The fact that they are presented side by side under the same title shows the importance of her protean and singular portraits of women if we are to understand what women are, what they think, what they want according to Niki de Saint Phalle.
Let us recall (…) the words of the creator addressed to the “beautiful prisoner of appearances” that was her mother: “Me, I would show everything. My heart, my emotions”. To show. And thus to see. To see everything of this art which, without neglecting the aesthetic register, raises high the colors of the rebellion by making each time the choice of an absolute opposition to the canons, the rules, the codes in force. Niki never ceases to break free from convention. All the means are good to escape from what she names “the art of living room”: the excessiveness of the sculptures transformed for some into livable spaces; their sometimes crude or wobbly aspect; the deformity, even the monstrosity of its creatures; the vulgarity of their appearance and their accoutrement; their obscenity often; their comic or childish dimension, way of teasing the traditional pretension of the art to the respectability… Add to this the narrative and largely autobiographical orientation of her work, which perhaps makes Niki de Saint Phalle an artist apart, but by no means an artist unaware of the formal ruptures and issues of her time. (…) It is time to affirm the capital place of Niki de Saint Phalle’s approach within the history of art. Fighting against the standardization of the glance and the taste, she worked in the avant-garde of a movement which, by weaving between art and the society a close relation, contributed to change the vocation of the art.
Catherine Francblin

  • date of publication : 2022
  • language : FR
  • pages : 184
  • format : 31 x 22 x 1
  • tirage : 600 copies
  • binding : paperback
  • ISBN : 9782954287164
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