Missouri Botanical Garden - Niki 2008

Sinopsis

From April 27 through October 31 2008, the Garden welcomes the passionate pop art of Niki in the Garden, an exhibition of 40 playful, larger-than-life mosaic sculptures in a rainbow of colors and materials. Gathered from around the world, and placed throughout the garden and Climatron, Niki works include nanas, animals, heroes, and totems, ranging from four to 18 feet tall. Some weigh a ton or more, such as the amazing six-ton skull.

Episodios

  • A Quote from Niki

    A Quote from Niki

    29/04/2008 Duración: 28s

    On Guide: n12 Sculpture: Guardian Lions Location: Bottle Brush Buckeyes By making gay, joyous sculpture maybe Im saying, Look, the world is awful but it is also great. So lets enjoy its greatness. My work is about color, the changing of colors for dreams and emotionsred, blue, yellow, green, purple. And its about roundness and the curves of nature. My work gives me hope, enthusiasm, structure. My work is my REAL DIARY.Niki de Saint Phalle

  • Who Is Clarice?

    Who Is Clarice?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 46s

    On Guide: n11 Sculpture: Clarice again Location: Near athletes (n10) Clarice again, a painted polyester sculpture, is one of Nikis earliest works. She was inspired by the feminine curves of her pregnant friend Clarice, the wife of the American artist Larry Rivers. In 1965, Niki began to consider female figures as models for womens position in society. In Clarice again, you can see an early manifestation of her Nana series. Clarice is a full-figured everywoman who revitalizes the ancient form of a fertility goddess. She embodies a timeless concept in a contemporary form. Clarice again was originally made in 1965 and repainted red with vibrant polyester colors in 1967.

  • Who are These Athletes? (Black Heroes/Athletes)

    Who are These Athletes? (Black Heroes/Athletes)

    29/04/2008 Duración: 39s

    On Guide: n10 Sculptures: #19 Baseball Player, #23 Basketball Player, and Golf Player Location: Near Mausoleum When Niki became a great-grandmother, she began to reflect on her own experiences growing up. She felt there were no strong female figures or cultural heroines to inspire her as a child. As she searched for inspirational role models for her bi-racial great-grandchild, Niki saw a lack of positive African-American heroes and cultural icons. She created a series of Black Heroes, representing historic personalities and positive male images to fill that need. You may recognize these three famous athletes as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Tony Gwynn, retired from the San Diego Padres.

  • What Is This?

    What Is This?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 51s

    On Guide: n9 Sculpture: Obelisque bleu avec des fleurs Location: Museum Building Niki was acutely aware of contemporary events and social crises. In the 1980s, several of her closest friends, including a studio assistant, became ill and died of AIDS. In response, Niki produced an art book about AIDS education and prevention, called You Cant Catch It Holding Hands, and also Obelisque bleu avec des fleurs. Obelisque bleu avec des fleurs is commonly viewed as a simple decorated vertical column covered with flowers. That is the simplest description and generally the preferred explanation for children. Its true inspiration, however, is a monumental version of a decorated condom that Niki wanted to produce as part of an AIDS awareness campaign. True to herself, Niki used whimsy to address and create interest in a serious social issue.

  • Who are these ladies?

    Who are these ladies?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n7 Sculpture: Nana on A Dolphin Location: Dry Streambed Garden Nikis powerful, playful females decorated with hearts and flowers, called Nanas, are among her best known works. These voluptuous ladies have appeared in museums and outdoor sculpture exhibitions around the world. Nana is French for the word chick or babe in American slang. Niki celebrated women as sources of life and vitality. She herself fit the popular cultures notion of beauty. As a teenager, she appeared as a fashion model on the covers of Life, Time and Vogue magazines. But Niki looked beyond the surface to what she felt was beautys true sourcea persons inner being. Outside the Linnean House, Les Trois Grce dance joyfully in the reflecting pools. Les Trois Grces are based on a theme from Greek mythology. These ladies were also inspired by Matisses La Danse. In our English Woodland Garden, youll find a different artists interpretation of the same classical Three Graces theme, done in bronze. In the pond on the Knolls, Nana on a

  • Did Native American culture influence Niki?

    Did Native American culture influence Niki?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n6 Sculpture: Large Yelling Man Totem Location: Gladney Rose Garden Nikis Totems reveal her exploration of Native American culture and traditions. She always admired American Indian totems and felt they contained a spiritually protective, mysterious glow. She consulted Native American experts and invited them to monitor their ritualistic installation in her magical Queen Califias circle sculpture garden in California. These sculptures are based on the structure, symbolism and spiritual art of Native American totem poles. They represent the rich textures as well as the pastel palette of Nikis last Californian mosaic style. Notice how they are covered in an extraordinary variety of materials. While it may be hard to decode the meanings of the Totems, Niki subjects the creatures of the lower tiers to the protective or destructive power of the animals on the top. On Grand Step Totem, a Nana-like mother and her child are placed under a deity represented by a mask.

  • My Memory of Niki - Marcelo Zitelli

    My Memory of Niki - Marcelo Zitelli

    29/04/2008 Duración: 02min

    On Guide: n6 Sculpture: Bird Head Totem Location: Gladney Rose Garden My name is Marcelo Zitelli, I worked with Niki the last 16 years of her life and now I am a trustee of the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. I met Niki in 1987 and I found a very open and charming person. Even if I was shy she talked to my like an equal, someone who was able to work directly with her. Right away we have a very good relationship and our relationship was based in our love of theatre. She wanted to be an actress when she was very young and I too was in theatre and Nikis work is always about telling a story. When I met her she was very upset about one sculpture that she wanted to do but the studio that she normally work with was unavailable. I told her I was willing to try and Niki say ok, you have a month to do the sculpture and I finished in 10 days, so Niki said to quit working on my other project. When began working together in the studio Niki needed to change the way she worked, which was to create a small model then sen

  • Who are these ladies?

    Who are these ladies?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n5 Sculpture: Les Trois Grces Location: Swift Family Garden Nikis powerful, playful females decorated with hearts and flowers, called Nanas, are among her best known works. These voluptuous ladies have appeared in museums and outdoor sculpture exhibitions around the world. Nana is French for the word chick or babe in American slang. Niki celebrated women as sources of life and vitality. She herself fit the popular cultures notion of beauty. As a teenager, she appeared as a fashion model on the covers of Life, Time and Vogue magazines. But Niki looked beyond the surface to what she felt was beautys true sourcea persons inner being. Outside the Linnean House, Les Trois Grce dance joyfully in the reflecting pools. Les Trois Grces are based on a theme from Greek mythology. These ladies were also inspired by Matisses La Danse. In our English Woodland Garden, youll find a different artists interpretation of the same classical Three Graces theme, done in bronze. In the pond on the Knolls, Nana on a D

  • Why did Niki create smaller pieces?

    Why did Niki create smaller pieces?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 38s

    On Guide: n4 Sculpture: Chairs Location: Linnean House Niki was prolific in her production of large-scale sculpture and entire environments of art. But she also wanted to create pieces on a domestic scale that people could have in their homes. Chairs, Grand lphant vase, and even the Oiseau amoureux are examples of this period of her work. Oiseau amoureux inside the Climatron was originally designed to be a giant kite for a worldwide traveling kite exhibition in 1988. Birds had a constant theme in Nikis workshe said some were immoral, sad, triumphant, hungry...or even in love.

  • Who is Niki?

    Who is Niki?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n2 Sculpture: Arbres Serpent Location: Spoehrer Plaza Catherine Marie-Agnes de Saint Phalle was born in 1930 to an aristocratic family in France and raised in New York City. She was a somewhat rebellious child, who preferred to be called Niki. In her early twenties she suffered a nervous breakdown and turned to visual art as a means of survival. Niki became the only female member of Europes most important post-World War II art movement, the New Realists. She collaborated with, and later married, the Swiss avant-garde artist Jean Tinguely. Niki was a prolific, self-taught artist. Her work included illustrations and shooting paintings on which she fired a rifle at bags full of paint attached to wood or canvas. Niki used tales and myths as a springboard to create fantastic creatures of her imagination. Working freely and spontaneously, she made joyous works to celebrate the diversity of life. Nikis art is well-known throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, where she traveled for inspiration. This

  • How are Nikis sculptures made?

    How are Nikis sculptures made?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n23 Sculpture: Buddha Location: Outside Shoenberg Temperate House Most of Nikis sculptures are made of polyurethane foam, some with a steel structure underneath. They are covered with polyester, before the mosaic pieces are attached with silicon or epoxy. The mosaic pieces are glass, mirrors, ceramic tiles and polished stones that Niki called M&M's. Sadly, Nikis art proved to be detrimental to her health. In the late 1960s, she began covering her sculptures with polyester paint to make them durable outdoors. The toxic fumes from the polyester resin and other plastic materials she used severely damaged her lungs, and caused recurrent health problems. Niki began making her own ceramics for the mosaics in her Tarot Garden project in Tuscany. Mosaics allowed her to create more widely varied, durable and decorative surfaces. For health reasons, she moved to La Jolla, California, near San Diego, in 1994. She continued to create art until her death in 2002 at the age of 71.

  • What Are The Skinnies?

    What Are The Skinnies?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 20s

    On Guide: n22 Sculpture: Femme Bleu Location: Shoenberg Temperate House Air became part of Nikis artistic palette with her see-through The Skinnies, made of bronze and polyurethane paint. Niki saw New Man is Coming and Femme Bleu as air sculptures that breathe and invite you to look right through them. She linked their breathing and skeletal look with the experiences of her own ailing body.

  • Why did Niki create smaller pieces?

    Why did Niki create smaller pieces?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 38s

    On Guide: n21 Sculpture: Oiseau amoreux Location: Climatron Niki was prolific in her production of large-scale sculpture and entire environments of art. But she also wanted to create pieces on a domestic scale that people could have in their homes. Chairs, Grand lphant vase, and even the Oiseau amoureux are examples of this period of her work. Oiseau amoureux inside the Climatron was originally designed to be a giant kite for a worldwide traveling kite exhibition in 1988. Birds had a constant theme in Nikis workshe said some were immoral, sad, triumphant, hungry...or even in love.

  • How Did Tarot Influence Niki?

    How Did Tarot Influence Niki?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n21 Sculpture: Star Fountain Location: Climatron Two sculptures in this exhibitionStar Fountain and Arbres Serpent (n2)are closely related to Nikis Tarot Garden. In the 1970s, inspired by the artist Gauds park in Barcelona, Niki dreamed of creating a sculpture garden based on the cards of the Tarot deck used by fortune tellers. An Italian patron offered her land in southern Tuscany, where she completed her Tarot Garden in 1998, just four years before she died. The project took 20 years. It is among the permanent sculpture gardens she created. The others are Queen Califias Magical Circle in Escondido, California, and Golem and Noahs Ark, both in Jerusalem. Arbres Serpent, combining plant and animal life into one, is based symbolically on the Tree of Life that housed the card of the Hung Man. It was designed to be a complex fountain. The snake appeared in her early images of femininity. In the 1980s, she adopted serpents as her signature motif for a perfume she produced to finance the Tarot Garden.

  • Who Are These Musicians? (Black Heroes/Musicians)

    Who Are These Musicians? (Black Heroes/Musicians)

    29/04/2008 Duración: 49s

    On Guide: n20 Sculpture: Miles Davis Location: Cohen Amphitheater In 1998, Niki began work on a series of Black Hero sculptures, paying tribute to prominent African-Americans. They included jazz musicians Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, who was born and raised just across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis. Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong are not only cultural icons, but also draw upon Nikis early marriage and life in Paris. Her first husband was a musician who was interested in jazz. The young couple was a part of the Paris jazz scene in the late 1950s and early Sixties. These mosaic musicians are fleshed out with stained and mirrored glass as well as tumbled stones, with gold leaf for the jazz instruments. Notice how the diverse sizes and shapes of the hand-cut mirrors on their trousers affect the textures and perception of color.

  • Who Are These Musicians? (Black Heroes/Musicians)

    Who Are These Musicians? (Black Heroes/Musicians)

    29/04/2008 Duración: 49s

    On Guide: n20 Sculpture: Louis Armstrong Location: Cohen Amphitheater In 1998, Niki began work on a series of Black Hero sculptures, paying tribute to prominent African-Americans. They included jazz musicians Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, who was born and raised just across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis. Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong are not only cultural icons, but also draw upon Nikis early marriage and life in Paris. Her first husband was a musician who was interested in jazz. The young couple was a part of the Paris jazz scene in the late 1950s and early Sixties. These mosaic musicians are fleshed out with stained and mirrored glass as well as tumbled stones, with gold leaf for the jazz instruments. Notice how the diverse sizes and shapes of the hand-cut mirrors on their trousers affect the textures and perception of color.

  • Why did Niki create smaller pieces?

    Why did Niki create smaller pieces?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 38s

    On Guide: n18 Sculpture: Grand lphant vase Location: Kemper Center circle Niki was prolific in her production of large-scale sculpture and entire environments of art. But she also wanted to create pieces on a domestic scale that people could have in their homes. Chairs, Grand lphant vase, and even the Oiseau amoureux are examples of this period of her work. Oiseau amoureux inside the Climatron was originally designed to be a giant kite for a worldwide traveling kite exhibition in 1988. Birds had a constant theme in Nikis workshe said some were immoral, sad, triumphant, hungry...or even in love.

  • My Memory of Niki Laura Gabriela, Nikis daughter

    My Memory of Niki Laura Gabriela, Nikis daughter

    29/04/2008 Duración: 01min

    On Guide: n17 Sculpture: Nikigator Location: Near Kemper Center My name is Laura Gabriela, and Im Nikis daughter. I remember Niki as the wise Nikigator. Niki was undaunted by opposition, she wasnt afraid of being attacked. On the contrary she took it all as a response and it stimulated her and it gave fuel to her fire and she knew she that was on the right track and she had more to do and it just kept her going. As a kid I was a little you know scared sometimes because these artists bring things that are new and there is a lot of hostility that shows up sometimes but I understand that she knew how to play the game of life and she knew how to respond creatively and she never lost her focus and she used the opposition to keep going and Im still learning from that.

  • Why Did Niki Sculpt Animals?

    Why Did Niki Sculpt Animals?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 54s

    On Guide: n16 Sculpture: Seals Location: Shapleigh Fountain Niki said that for many years, a good deal of her work was concerned with bringing joy, color, and an aggressive humor and fantasy to life. Nikis playful animals were part of her vision of sculpture committed to bringing joy. The colorful mosaics that cover them appeal to both the eye and the body. Niki felt it was very important that both adults and children interact with her sculptures. She loved to see children climb on these animals. Feel free to touch, sit, crawl on, or enter them. Their edges are rounded so that kids can climb on them safely. The concave lap of Cat (n14) is an intimate refuge in which you can curl up. Nikigator, Seals, Guardian Lions, and Cat descend from the mosaic animals with which Niki surrounded the artist Mario Bottas Ark in their collaborative interpretation of the Noahs Ark story, at the childrens zoo in Jerusalem.

  • Want to Get Inside Nikis Head?

    Want to Get Inside Nikis Head?

    29/04/2008 Duración: 45s

    On Guide: n15 Sculpture: La Cabeza Location: Lehmann Rose Garden This six-ton smiling skull was inspired by a trip Niki made to Mexico in the late 1970s. She liked the cheerful way in which Mexicans deal with the subject of death. The Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead seems to inform La Cabeza as a face of death that is both festive and contemplative. It pulls viewers in as it reflects life back. The piece is an inventory of the materials Niki used, from mother of pearl, to geometric mirrored glass, to the translucent round glass pieces that she called M&M's. This skull is fully interactive and easily accessible. Go inside to look around or have a seat in its domed meditation room, with its blue sky and moon.

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