If you walk on Park Avenue in New York City from East 60th – East 52nd anytime from now until November 12, you will be treated to an exceptional visual delight. The NOHRA HAIME GALLERY, in cooperation with the NIKI CHARITABLE ART FOUNDATION, the NYC PARKS DEPARTMENT, and the FUND FOR PARK AVENUE, has installed on each corner of the planted middle islands delightful sculptures from the famous French artist and sculptor, NIKI De SAINT PHALLE.
The sculptures are bound to catch your attention as you cross the street, as they did mine. Actually, in order to photograph all of the pieces I had to do a crisscross dance back and forth over Park Avenue, but I just didn’t want to miss seeing the full outdoor installation up front and personal. The sculptures are over-sized, vibrant and intriguing to look at and are great representations of this innovator of the 20th century art scene.
De SAINT PHALLE had a long and varied art career high lighted by working in various different mediums as an expression of her avant garde style. Replete with bright colors, found objects and imaginary figures which she often executes in mosaic, her talent is singular and distinct. I’m a big fan of De SAINT PHALLE’S later work. I adore the scale of her pieces and the way she over-accentuates aspects of her sculpted figures. They are always quite fanciful and joyous in their presentation, and exhibit a sense of exuberance about life.
She has always been known for her originality and the ‘pushing the envelope‘ attitude of her art. In a darker period she actually did performance art, literally executing large collage canvases which she shot a gun at in front of an audience in order to randomly release color on to the underlying art work. The work on display in the center island is representative of a more positive time in her life and in her art. In particular, you will get the opportunity to see some of her famous “Nanas” figures. “Nana” incidentally is French for chick or dame. These over-sized, over-endowed women, playfully romping on Park Avenue are her tribute to femininity and her celebration of female dynamism in life.
After seeing de SAINT PHALLE’S work on Park Avenue I decided to do some research about her. I came across this extremely interesting video on YouTube by leonarduchamp which will fill you in on her complete artistic career. If you are a feminist and art lover I am sure you will enjoy seeing it. It reminded me that all of the great artists in the world have been influenced greatly by dramatic events in their lives, and just how deep is the well of the creative spirit.