Saturday, February 18, 2017

Little escap(ad)e: Niki de Saint Phalle in Dortmund

Two weeks ago I spent a weekend in Dortmund with the annual meeting of board and regional representatives of the German Patchwork Guild. As the new International Representative for the Guild, and a member of the editorial staff of the magazine, I had to attend, of course, and it was an interesting weekend. Some of the members of the board I already knew, but it was good to get to know the others as well. By mid-Sunday the meeting was over, and I had booked my flight together with Barbara Lange, current President of the Guild, for the evening as the mid-day flight would have been a bit difficult to catch. So after cleaning up most of the left-overs of the meeting we found ourselves with a few hours on hand and were happy to hear that Ulla had pre-planned and checked the museum exhibitions, and joined her to go and see the current exhibition of works by Niki de Saint Phalle in the Museum Ostwall.

Outside banner announcing the exhibition

The interior of the building is quite impressive, you have to go up five long escalators before you get to the entrance of the museum, with several other interesting sites located on the lower floors.

There were explicit signs on the wall saying that photography was not allowed, so I was a good girl and kept my camera hidden, just taking a few notes. Assuming that I would be able to find pictures on the web that would make illustration possible, without incriminating myself through illegal photography.

I have known quite a bit about her for a while, and must say that I have never been particularly impressed with the early works in their artistic quality. Shooting pictures certainly make for a scandalous reputation, and she was successful at that. Nor does she come across as a particularly likeable person in the biography presented, more like a spoiled brat and very self-centered person. But I know, of course, that those aren't any standards by which you measure or judge artists... and she was a fighter, she had a lot of influence on the position of women in art, so her achievements must not be disapproved of because she was a strong-headed and uncompromising person.

But I did like the 'autoportrait' on display in the entrance area. And I lover her Nana-figures and drawings.

Photo taken from here

And I am sure her relationship with Tinguely was an interesting one that never got to be boring...

The exhibition is on display until April 23, and well worth a visit!

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