fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Niki de Saint Phalle and the Nana Statues

Conceptual art

Niki de Saint Phalle and the Nana Statues

1966, Stockholm, Sweden and an incredible art event occurred about which not even the press who were invited to the launch knew what to say. A gigantic version of a strange form of sculpture known as Nana Statues was to be found at the Moderna Museet and entitled, Hon-en-Katedrall

Three international artists: Niki de Saint Phalle (French), Jean Tinguely (Suisse) and Per Olof Ultvedt (Swedish) had been brought together under the auspices of the Director of Moderna Museet of Sweden, Pontus Hulten to create something in collaboration for the museum.

After much deliberation and frustrations, a decision was made to create a giant version of one of Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nana statues. Named, ‘Hon’ for ‘She’ in Swedish, this colossal ‘cathedral’ to womanhood took 40 days to create and was designed to be entered through the birth canal, and explored with, it must be said, trepidation by those who wished to experience a return to the womb.  Saint Phalle described this work as  “a doll’s house for adults just big enough to sit and dream in.”

Nana Statues

Niki de Saint Phalle, Hon, 1966

Ten years earlier, In 1956, de Saint Phalle met the artist Jean Tinguely and their collaborations appear to have released her unique talent.  Prior to this moment, she had become famous for her abstract works where she used guns to shoot bags of paint over canvas. But now, de Saint Phalle turned her attention to another form and her statues were voluptuous depictions of women in all manner of positions. Made of paier mache, the Nana statues, explored the female role in society.   From these statues, Hon was the natural development of Saint Phalle’s ideas.

The Nana statues were originally inspired by a pregnant friend of Saint Phalle.  The original statues were made of fabric and found objects and as more were created, Saint Phalle used polyester, ceramic and other components to make the statues more curvaceous.

The Nana statues can be found all over the world as seen in the images below and it can be safely said that they are eye catching and thought-provoking all in one beautifully voluptuous body:

Nana Statues

Niki de Saint Phalle, Three Graces in Saint Tropez

 

Nana Statues

Niki de Saint Phalle, The World at Kunsthalle Würth.

 

Nana Statues

Niki de Saint Phalle, Guardian Angel at Zurich Station

 

Nana Statues

Niki de Saint Phalle, Sophie in Hintergrund Beginen

Find out more:

Teacher by trade; art lover by choice. Like all manner of artists and movements but somehow always end up back in 1910!

Comments

More in Conceptual art

  • César Baldaccini, Compression, 1988, private collection. Source: www.karlundfaber.de. César Baldaccini, Compression, 1988, private collection. Source: www.karlundfaber.de.

    20th century

    César Baldaccini: Master of Compression

    By

    César Baldaccini, better known simply as César, was a prominent French sculptor of the 1960s. He created large sculptures formed by compressing crushed automobiles, discarded metal, rubbish, domestic objects, or even jewelry. He also collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Cartier and, through his hands, iron became...

  • Roman Opałka, "1965/1-∞", National Gallery of Australia (NGA), 1967-71. Source: National Gallery of Australia. Roman Opałka, "1965/1-∞", National Gallery of Australia (NGA), 1967-71. Source: National Gallery of Australia.

    21st century

    How Roman Opałka Envisioned Infinity

    By

    In 1965, the French-born, Polish painter Roman Opałka came to an important decision. While sitting at the Café Bristol in Warsaw waiting for his wife to arrive, an idea came into his mind, and he began to paint numbers from one to infinity that would progress...

  • Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venus of the rags, 1967, Tate Modern. Source: Tate. Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venus of the rags, 1967, Tate Modern. Source: Tate.

    20th century

    Arte Povera: Aesthetics of the Ordinary

    By

    In memory of the recently deceased world-famous Italian art critic Germano Celant, who himself in 1967 invented the term Arte Povera, translated as “Poor Art”, we would like to present to you the most important and notable artists of this movement and glorify their philosophy of...

  • 19th Century

    10 Masterpieces for Boosting Good Feng Shui in Your House

    By

    Feng shui is a millenary art which focuses on the flow of energy. It is most of the time related to furniture and decoration, in ancient times it was a very popular activity. Here we have chosen ten masterpieces to help you create good feng shui in...

  • Dreams that money can buy. Source: Youtube. Dreams that money can buy. Source: Youtube.

    20th century

    Dreams That Money Can Buy? Dadaist Cinema at Its Best

    By

    Dreams that Money Can Buy (1947) is a Dadaist portmanteau movie, an unknown cinematographic masterpiece combining surrealistic and experimental elements. It was produced by Peggy Guggenheim and directed by German avant-garde painter and dada film-theorist Hans Richter, who brought together artists like Max Ernst, Man Ray,...

To Top