Niki de Saint Phalle Google Doodle


    Today Google is celebrating the life and legacy of Niki de Saint Phalle with a very colorful Google Doodle. The Doodle features three full size ladies, dressed in what looks like full body costumes. These drawings are associated with Niki de Saint Phalle and I can immediately recognize at least one of the figures as her L’Ange Protecteur figure which is currently housed in the hall of the Zürich Hauptbahnhof.


    About Niki de Saint Phalle

    Niki de Saint Phalle was a world renowned French Sculptor, Painter and Film Maker. She was born in Catherine-Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle on the 29th of October 1930 in the Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine in France. She died at the age of 71 in California in the United States.

    Niki de Saint Phalle created “Shooting Paintings” in the early 1960s. These pieces of art were polythene bags of paints in human forms covered in white plaster. The piece were shot at to open the bags of paint to create the image.

    After the “Shooting paintings” came a period when she explored the various roles of women. She made life size dolls of women, such as brides and mothers giving birth. They were primarily made of plaster over a wire framework and plastic toys, then painted all white.

    Inspired by the pregnancy of her friend Clarice Price, the wife of American artist Larry Rivers, she began to use her artwork to consider archetypal female figures in relation to her thinking on the position of women in society. Her artistic expression of the proverbial everywoman were named ‘Nanas’. The first of these freely posed forms—made of papier-mâché, yarn, and cloth—were exhibited at the Alexander Iolas Gallery in Paris in September 1965.

    For this show, Iolas published her first artist book that includes her handwritten words in combination with her drawings of ‘Bananas’. Encouraged by Iolas, she started a highly productive output of graphic work that accompanied exhibitions that included posters, books, and writings.


    In 1966, Saint Phalle collaborated with fellow artist Jean Tinguely and Per Olof Ultvedt (sv) on a large-scale sculpture installation, “hon-en katedral” (“she-a cathedral”) for Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. The outer form of “hon” is a giant, reclining ‘Nana’, whose internal environment is entered from between her legs.

    The piece elicited immense public reaction in magazines and newspapers throughout the world. The interactive quality of the “hon” combined with a continued fascination with fantastic types of architecture intensified her resolve to see her own architectural dreams realized. During the construction of the “hon-en katedral,” she met Swiss artist Rico Weber (de), who became an important assistant and collaborator for both de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely. During the 1960s, she also designed decors and costumes for two theatrical productions: a ballet by Roland Petit, and an adaptation of the Aristophanes play “Lysistrata.”

    In 1971, Saint Phalle and Tinguely married.

    Saint Phalle moved to California in 1994. On 17 November 2000 she became an honorary citizen of Hannover, Germany, and donated 300 pieces of her artwork to the Sprengel Museum. In 2001, she made another donation of 170 pieces to the Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain of Nice. Niki de Saint Phalle died of emphysema in California on 21 May 2002.

    Niki de Saint Phalle Google Doodle


    It looks like the Full Figure ladies in today’s Doodle is based on the Les Trois Grâces works of Niki de Saint Phalle .The Three Graces are part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts New York Avenue Sculpture Project. Keeping in the classic style of Niki de Saint Phalle’s work, Les Trois Grâces are three large sculptures of voluptuous women (a creation that de Saint Phalle calls a ‘Nana’) who appear to be dancing. Made of fiberglass, one Nana is covered in white, one yellow and the other is black mosaic tiles, ranging in heights of 12 feet to 15 feet.

    They all wear elaborate bathing suits in designs such as hearts, fish, instruments and other multiple colors schemes. A whimsical set of sculptures, the three figures have their arms raised as if ballet dancing, each has one foot on the ground and another raised up. They are Saint Phalle’s own version of The Three Graces

    Source Wikipedia: