On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, La Prairie announces lead patronage of Niki de Saint Phalle‘s most substantial U.S. retrospective at MoMA PS1 in New York.
On view from March 11 to September 6, 2021, Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life will feature over 200 works created from the mid-1960s until the artis’s death, highlighting Saint Phalle’s interdisciplinary approach and engagement.
Niki de Saint Phalle. Californian Diary (Order and Chaos). 1994
La Prairie honours Niki de Saint Phalle’s audacious and visionary feminist spirit – her defiance of social norms and her willingness to break the codes both in her personal life and work. The work of Niki de Saint Phalle has a particular resonance for La Prairie as it was her striking use of cobalt blue that was the inspiration behind La Prairie’s iconic Skin Caviar Collection colour.
Niki de Saint Phalle. Flaçon de parfum. 1982
In 1982, Niki was developing her eponymous fragrance from her atelier in a shared design studio in
New York where La Prairie’s team would often engage in creative exchanges. When La Prairie
encountered Niki de Saint Phalle’s cobalt blue – her favourite colour that she describes «as the colour
of joy and luck» – the link became clear: only cobalt blue would do. A fortunate encounter that would
spark a bond with the House of La Prairie and seal it forever.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Collection
Just as Niki de Saint Phalle raised awareness on modernist, progressive views, La Prairie’s founder paved the way to pioneering discoveries. Dr. Paul Niehans was a dreamer, a seeker of beauty. Art was central to his science, central to his dream to hold time in his hand, central to his pioneering spirit. A spirit mirrored in Niki de Saint Phalle’s inner flame of audacity. She expressed a new femininity, one which stood in opposition to the conventional influences and values of society.
Niki de Saint Phalle working on the set for The Travelling Companion at her studio near Milly-la-Forêt. 1977.
Through her lifetime, Niki de Saint Phalle used her platform as an artist to bring attention to various issues advocating for women’s equality to provoke and trigger conversations – a legacy that today continues to inspire new generations of artists and women beyond. Niki de Saint Phalle also shaped art movements such as Nouveau Réalisme. As the only woman in the 1960s-founded group, she offered a unique perspective and proved her art was as innovative as her male counterparts.
Niki de Saint Phalle. La femme et L’oiseau fontaine. 1967–88
«Niki de Saint Phalle created artwork that explicitly rejected patriarchal values and artistic convention. Her Nanas confront Western standards of femininity and decorum: they are brash, ecstatic, and embrace sexuality. She created her Nanas at such a large scale specifically so that they could dominate – literally tower over – men. Saint Phalle was also an iconoclast in her personal style and way of life,» according to Ruba Katrib, Curator of the exhibition.
Last Night I had a dream, 1968-1988
This collaboration with the upcoming exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York is an opportunity for the Swiss luxury house to enable the world to experience Saint Phalle’s revolutionary work. It is also an expansion of La Prairie’s support of art and culture by creating new connections with the world of art and its various representatives, whether emerging or established artists or cultural institutions. A commitment that continues to flourish and to build on the House’s existing partnerships with art fairs Art Basel and West Bund Art & Design and the iconic Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland.
More information at moma.org/ps1. I would love to see this exhibition and truly hope that we will be able to travel to the U.S. soon again.
Niki de Saint Phalle with La Fontaine Stravinsky
Photos: Courtesy of La Prairie, © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation
© Michiko Matsumoto, © Leonardo Bezzola Estate