press release

Niki de Saint Phalle
September 16, 2022–February 12, 2023

On September 16, 2022, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter Norway will open a large-scale retrospective exhibition of one of the greatest icons of the 20th century, Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002).

Niki de Saint Phalle’s work has been of great influence internationally and across generations. The exhibition at Henie Onstad will be the first presentation of Niki de Saint Phalle’s work in Norway.

“We are honored to open the first retrospective exhibition of Niki de Saint Phalle in Norway. As Saint Phalle was a pioneer in art and feminism, this is long overdue,” says Tone Hansen, Director of Henie Onstad.

Niki de Saint Phalle first made her mark in the early 1960s and continued breaking conventions in both art and society. Her longing for freedom, challenging of stereotypical women’s roles, her breech with aesthetic practices and staging of herself and her art, are all of high relevance.

“The influence of Niki de Saint Phalle has often been overlooked in the writing of modern art history. With this exhibition we aim to place her within this history as a laudable member,” says Caroline Ugelstad, Chief curator at Henie Onstad and curator of the exhibition.

“Niki de Saint Phalle was a key figure in the new generation of young artists who, at the beginning of the 1960s, were redefining the boundaries of what an artwork could be. To an increasing degree she worked in close dialogue with society and her audience, and by about the mid-1970s she also invited them into monumental architectonic constructions in public settings,” Ugelstad added.

The exhibition includes several aspects of Saint Phalle’s artistic oeuvre and is made possible through generous loans from a number of institutions such as Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. Totaling about 1700 square meters, the exhibition will lead the visitors through various chapters of the artist’s work and life, spanning from her early paintings and assemblages through her shooting paintings and Nanas and her work with the sculpture park in Tuscany, Tarot Garden.

A new publication will be launched in conjunction with the exhibition, including texts by Martine Hoff Jensen, Kimberly Lamm, Camille Morineau and Caroline Ugelstad. Edited by Caroline Ugelstad, designed by ANTI and distributed by Thames & Hudson.