EXHIBITIONNIKI DE SAINT PHALLE
« Last night I had a dream »
Born in 1930, Niki de Saint Phalle, who started out as a model then trained as an actor, exorcised the traumas of her childhood through her art. An iconic figure among the female artists of the second half of the 20th century, she was struck by the fantastical power of Antonio Gaudi’s work, whom she discovered the work for the first time in Park Güell in 1955. The end of the 1960s marked her desire to bring together, in large sculpted assemblies, the various figures drawn from her dreams and vivid imagination.
Last Night I had a Dream is one of them: it is comprised of her nanas, her favourite animals as well as symbols of her trips and her love affairs. This group of 18 sculptures in painted polyester, created in 1968, exhibits ‘signature’ motifs, also repeated, several times, in drawings accompanied by texts dating from the same year. Reflections of her innermost thoughts, oscillating between humour and irony, these sculpted and painted totems are the vectors for her emotions: the colours, the rounded shapes, the chubby women, all serve to conceal a deep suffering. Exhibited in full this spring by De Jonckheere at its gallery in Monaco, this series summons up the memories of a dream. A dream that seems to have contained all the symbols of happiness in love in the mythology of this astonishing artist.