Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s

Sep 10, 2021 – Jan 23, 2022
Main Building

Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s is the first show to focus on the experimental and prolific work of French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002) during this pivotal decade, featuring numerous works from European collections that will be displayed in the U.S. for the first time.

The exhibition explores a transformative ten-year period in Saint Phalle’s work, when she embarked on two significant series: the Tirs, or “shooting paintings,” and the powerful Nanas, lively sculptures of the female form. Affirming the artist’s place in postwar art history, this show highlights these prescient works of performance, participatory, and feminist art, as well as her transatlantic projects and collaborations. Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s brings together major paintings, assemblages, and sculptures from this chapter in the artist’s career, as well as extensive film and photographic documentation from the Menil Archives.

Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s is cocurated by Michelle White, Senior Curator, The Menil Collection, and Jill Dawsey, PhD, Curator, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Major funding for this exhibition is provided by Cecily E. Horton; a gift in memory of Virginia P. Rorschach; Bettie Cartwright; and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from Eddie Allen and Chinhui Juhn; Suzanne Deal Booth; Dragonfly Collection, Garance Primat; Clare Casademont and Michael Metz; Cindy and David Fitch; Barbara and Michael Gamson; Janie C. Lee; Susan and Francois de Menil; MaryRoss Taylor; Carol and David Neuberger; Julie and John Cogan, Jr.; Robin and Andrew Schirrmeister; MCT Fund; Niki Charitable Art Foundation; UBS Financial Services; and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Support for this exhibition at both the Menil Collection and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is provided by Christie’s.

Research for this exhibition was supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s at the Menil Collection.