The use of polyester for her sculptures made her famous – and deathly ill. Her trademark – Female curves and loud colours, iconic fertility godesses, brightly coloured and massive. Niki de Saint Phalle’s work is spread over the globe; in Germany Hannover focuses her art.
Duisburg is a city I visit frequently. I like the „fountain mile“ in the inner city where at a section of Königsstraße, a pedestrian zone, 6 fountains are at the course. One of these fountains is the „Life Saver“ designed by Niki de Saint Phalle and her husband Jean Tinguely. From all those fountains, the „Life Saver“ I like the most, even if I never have seen it during operation; it is the most famous sculpture in Duisburg’s public space and the most controversial too. Born 1930 in France near Paris and deceased 2002 in San Diego, California, Niki de Saint Phalle was the creator of the world-famous Nanas and the first and only honorary citizen of Hannover. 1969 she had a first exhibition in Kunstverein Hannover. 1974 her three monumental „Nanas“ at the shores of the river Leine at Leibnitzufer were erected. Those „Nanas“ raised a storm of protest from some Hanoverians, triggered a public debate on art in public space and helped her encourage her breakthrough. 1999 Niki de Saint Phalle began designing a new interior for the historic Baroque-Grotto in Hannover’s Großer Garten. It is the last major artistic project to be completed by Niki de Saint Phalle before she died. It is a masterpiece and transformed the 330-year-old Grotto into a place of mystery and magic. The grotto, reopened 2003, was transformed to a temple of the arts with mirrors, tiles and sculptures. It has become a place of pilgrimage for her fans.