58 min

Bloum Cardenas on Niki de Saint Phalle The Great Women Artists

    • Arts

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview Bloum Cardenas, none other than the granddaughter of the trailblazing, French-American sculptor, painter, performance artist and more, NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE!!

Born in 1930 in France and living throughout the 20th century between America and Europe – she passed in 2002 – Saint Phalle is one of the century’s greatest creative personalities. She pioneered not only the boundaries between painting, performance and conceptual art in Paris during the 1960s, but explored large scale immersive environments through her joyous, glittering sculptures. These include the Tarot Garden in Tuscany – this incredible paradisal sculpture park filled with these colossal Nana-style sculptures of these bulbous women, glittering in mosaics – or her 1966 work at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Hon - the Cathedral, where visitors would enter through the giant open legs of one of her Nana figures a world complete with a 12-seat cinema, a bar, a playground for kids, a fish pond and sandwich vending machine.

In the early 1960s she worked on her Shooting Paintings – violently shooting at canvases with bags of coloured paint that exploded and dripped onto a plaster surface. She used her ‘shooting events’ to fight against political corruption and the patriarchy. Employing large-scale canvases and masochistic gestures to emulate (and poke fun at) her male contemporaries, it was also through chance encounters and group efforts that Saint Phalle pioneered early concepts of Performance Art.

By the mid-1960s, Saint Phalle had taken a different direction, abandoning her Shooting Paintings for her Nana sculptures: voluptuous and bulbous figures that reclaim the female form and celebrate the ‘everywoman’. Speaking about them in 1972, she said: ‘Why the nanas? Well, first because I am one myself. Because my work is very personal and I try to express what I feel. It is the theme that touches me most closely. Since women are oppressed in today’s society I have tried, in my own personal way, to contribute to the Women’s Liberation Movement.’

Bloum Cardenas, from 1985–1990, Bloum worked in the archives of her grandmother and in 1997, moved to San Francisco to help organise Saint Phalle’s archived there. Since 2002, she has been a trustee for the for the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. She is also the president of the beloved Tarot Garden in Tuscany.

ENJOY!!!

--

Peter Schjendahl: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-pioneering-feminism-of-niki-de-saint-phalle

New Yorker on The Tarot Garden 2016: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/niki-de-saint-phalles-tarot-garden

New York Times 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/arts/design/Niki-de-Saint-Phalle-MoMA-PS1-Salon-94.html

Artforum: https://www.artforum.com/print/202105/johanna-fateman-on-the-art-of-niki-de-saint-phalle-85478

Niki de Saint Phalle Foundation website: http://nikidesaintphalle.org/niki-de-saint-phalle/biography/#1930-1949

Tate etc on living with Niki: https://www.tate.org.uk/tate-etc/issue-12-spring-2008/living-niki

Tate shots on Niki de Saint Phalle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV7aJ7XHeB4

Nouveau Réalisme: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/n/nouveau-realisme

Gutai: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/g/gutai

Shooting Paintings / Tirs https://www.moma.org/collection/works/150143

Hon - A Cathedral http://nikidesaintphalle.org/50-years-since-hon/ // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNfQt2FsUD4&feature=emb_logo // https://womennart.com/2018/08/22/hon-by-niki-de-saint-phalle/

The Tarot Garden http://ilgiardinodeitarocchi.it/en/

--

Follow us:
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Research assistant: Viva Ruggi
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield

https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

--

THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview Bloum Cardenas, none other than the granddaughter of the trailblazing, French-American sculptor, painter, performance artist and more, NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE!!

Born in 1930 in France and living throughout the 20th century between America and Europe – she passed in 2002 – Saint Phalle is one of the century’s greatest creative personalities. She pioneered not only the boundaries between painting, performance and conceptual art in Paris during the 1960s, but explored large scale immersive environments through her joyous, glittering sculptures. These include the Tarot Garden in Tuscany – this incredible paradisal sculpture park filled with these colossal Nana-style sculptures of these bulbous women, glittering in mosaics – or her 1966 work at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Hon - the Cathedral, where visitors would enter through the giant open legs of one of her Nana figures a world complete with a 12-seat cinema, a bar, a playground for kids, a fish pond and sandwich vending machine.

In the early 1960s she worked on her Shooting Paintings – violently shooting at canvases with bags of coloured paint that exploded and dripped onto a plaster surface. She used her ‘shooting events’ to fight against political corruption and the patriarchy. Employing large-scale canvases and masochistic gestures to emulate (and poke fun at) her male contemporaries, it was also through chance encounters and group efforts that Saint Phalle pioneered early concepts of Performance Art.

By the mid-1960s, Saint Phalle had taken a different direction, abandoning her Shooting Paintings for her Nana sculptures: voluptuous and bulbous figures that reclaim the female form and celebrate the ‘everywoman’. Speaking about them in 1972, she said: ‘Why the nanas? Well, first because I am one myself. Because my work is very personal and I try to express what I feel. It is the theme that touches me most closely. Since women are oppressed in today’s society I have tried, in my own personal way, to contribute to the Women’s Liberation Movement.’

Bloum Cardenas, from 1985–1990, Bloum worked in the archives of her grandmother and in 1997, moved to San Francisco to help organise Saint Phalle’s archived there. Since 2002, she has been a trustee for the for the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. She is also the president of the beloved Tarot Garden in Tuscany.

ENJOY!!!

--

Peter Schjendahl: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-pioneering-feminism-of-niki-de-saint-phalle

New Yorker on The Tarot Garden 2016: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/niki-de-saint-phalles-tarot-garden

New York Times 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/arts/design/Niki-de-Saint-Phalle-MoMA-PS1-Salon-94.html

Artforum: https://www.artforum.com/print/202105/johanna-fateman-on-the-art-of-niki-de-saint-phalle-85478

Niki de Saint Phalle Foundation website: http://nikidesaintphalle.org/niki-de-saint-phalle/biography/#1930-1949

Tate etc on living with Niki: https://www.tate.org.uk/tate-etc/issue-12-spring-2008/living-niki

Tate shots on Niki de Saint Phalle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV7aJ7XHeB4

Nouveau Réalisme: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/n/nouveau-realisme

Gutai: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/g/gutai

Shooting Paintings / Tirs https://www.moma.org/collection/works/150143

Hon - A Cathedral http://nikidesaintphalle.org/50-years-since-hon/ // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNfQt2FsUD4&feature=emb_logo // https://womennart.com/2018/08/22/hon-by-niki-de-saint-phalle/

The Tarot Garden http://ilgiardinodeitarocchi.it/en/

--

Follow us:
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Research assistant: Viva Ruggi
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield

https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

--

THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com

58 min

Top Podcasts In Arts

Somethin:Else Creative Studio
BBC Radio 4
The Guardian
A Somethin’ Else / Jay Rayner production with Sony Music Entertainment
Somethin' Else / Sony Music Entertainment
Avery Trufelman