Provocateur, co-founder of the Happening, creator of an idiosyncratic, unmistakable formal language and the world-famous "Nanas". Niki de Saint Phalle floats above all categories, as it were. The DIGITORIAL for the exhibition provides an overview of the artist's work, which is much more multifaceted and subversive than is commonly known.

Leonardo Bezzola, Niki de Saint Phalle, Luzern, 1969, Kunsthaus Zürich, Photo © Nachlass Leonardo Bezzola, © Niki Charitable Art Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021


3 February till 21 May 2023

Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002) is one of the most famous women artists of her generation and is deemed a main representative of European Pop Art and a cocreator of the Happening. The SCHIRN is presenting the wide-ranging oeuvre of the French-American visionary in a comprehensive exhibition that, through around one hundred works, offers an overview of all of her practice’s phases.

In the five decades of her creative work, Saint Phalle developed an unmistakable language of form and a multifaceted oeuvre. The Nanas, her colorful large-format sculptures of women, laid the foundations for her international success and are regarded to this day as her trademark.

In her work, she repeatedly articulated a plea for women and the feminine. She criticized institutions and conventional models and addressed social and political issues in her work, including war and violence as well as the stigmatization associated with AIDS, the right to abortion, gun laws, and climate change. By the 1960s she was creating her legendary Shooting Pictures in spectacular performances, in which she involved the audience. Her drawings, writings, and large-scale sculptures, as well as plays, films, and installations in public space, bear witness to the transformative power of her art, which reached its climax in her architectural life’s work, the Tarot Garden in Tuscany.

An exhibition in cooperation with the Kunsthaus Zürich.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, VGF




Dr. Marschner Stiftung