On View

A New Photography Exhibition at MFA Boston Is Taking Viewers Through the ‘Multiple Realities of War’ in Ukraine


For far too often in the last 11 months has the sky above Ukraine been scarred by gunfire, shells, and explosions. A new exhibition of Ukrainian war photography at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston takes that same sky as a metaphor—and turns it into a kind of call to action. 

Who Holds Up the Sky?”, as the show is called, was organized by a trio of curators from the Wartime Art Archive at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) NGO in Kyiv, and brought to the U.S. through a collaboration with the MFA. It collects the work of Ukrainian artists who have documented the war since Russia’s invasion in February of last year. 

“Overcoming the darkness of death, shelling, genocide, and blackouts, photography captures the multiple realities of war,” the exhibition’s three MOCA NGO curators—Halyna Hleba, Olga Balashova, and Tetiana Lysun—wrote in the introductory wall text. The show, they explained, was conceived as a tribute to “everyone who is holding up the sky over Ukraine.”

Installation view of “Who Holds Up the Sky?” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 21 to May 21, 2023. © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

On view are shots of missiles being launched from Russia, taken by photographer Vadym Belikov from the window of his own high-rise building, as well as a picture of the destruction that similar missiles have wrought on Ukrainian farmland, captured by war correspondent Efrem Lukatsky. 

Those two artists’ works are punctuated by several photos from Yana Kononova’s X-Scapes series, which document the physical destruction in Kyiv’s northern regions—twisted sheet metal, cratered housing structures—but are each cropped to the point of abstraction. Gone are direct indications of war, leaving the emotional devastation of the wreckage heightened.

Pillars in the MFA’s gallery are lined with illustrations from Inga Levi’s ongoing Double Exposure series, which began just days after Russia’s unprovoked invasion. Each entry in the collection depicts two realities: one of everyday life in Ukraine, one of war.  

Efrem Lukatsky, Bird’s eye view of a crater left by a Russian rocket that hit a farm field 10km from the front line. Despite
shelling, local farmers continue harvesting
(2022). Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Rounding out the show is a video about the “Behind Blue Eyes” project, a charitable effort that provides Ukrainian kids with disposable cameras. They’re asked to carry around their cameras for a week, photographing their daily routines. The goal, according to the view’s label, is to project a “coherent and complex footprint of the war” from the perspective of those whose lives will forever be shaped by it.

The name of the project comes from the song of the same name by The Who. The curators suggest that the blue of the title is also meant to allude to the sky—a reminder, perhaps, that we’re all united by the firmament above us, even if it looks different.

See more images from “Who Holds Up the Sky?” below.

Installation view of “Who Holds Up the Sky?” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 21 to May 21, 2023. © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Kostiantyn Polishchuk, Ukrainian soldiers (2022). © Polishchuk Kostiantyn. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Installation view of “Who Holds Up the Sky?” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 21 to May 21, 2023. © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Yana Kononova, X‑Scapes #63‑17 (2022). Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Installation view of “Who Holds Up the Sky?” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 21 to May 21, 2023. © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Who Holds Up the Sky?” is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston through May 21, 2023.

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In Pictures: A Henry Taylor Retrospective at MOCA Spotlights the Artist’s Individual Yet Universal Portraiture


In just about every article, interview, or press release written about Henry Taylor, he is described as “an artist’s artist.” No matter what that term actually means, it’s undoubtedly a compliment, but it cuts out the non-artist’s ability to appreciate and respect the man’s great talent.

If anything, Taylor is an artist of the people. He paints, sculpts, and draws them furiously, as evidenced by the extraordinary breadth of work on view in the career retrospective “Henry Taylor: B Side” on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the artist’s hometown of Los Angeles.

As a chronicler of people from every cross-section of humanity, Taylor’s subjects range from family members, to fellow artists, to the patients at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital where he worked decades ago. In all of his works, there is something both universal and achingly individual, with many of his paintings serving as character studies spliced with social commentary.

In the exhibition catalogue, curator Bennett Simpson writes of Taylor: “He is also, or maybe foremost, a champion and caretaker of Black experience, suffusing his work with recognition and social commentary alike. In this role, his paintings communicate a deep sense of responsibility—to memory and community, to excellence and contingency.”

See pictures from the exhibition below.

“Henry Taylor: B Side” is on view at MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, through April 30, 2023. 

Installation view, "Henry Taylor: B Side" at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy o the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, “Henry Taylor: B Side” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Screaming Head (1999). mage and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Screaming Head (1999). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Untitled (2022). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Untitled (2022). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Too Sweet (2016). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sam Kahn.

Henry Taylor, Too Sweet (2016). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sam Kahn.

Henry Taylor, Untitled (2021). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Ken Adlard.

Henry Taylor, Untitled (2021). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Ken Adlard.

Installation view, "Henry Taylor: B Side" at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy o the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, “Henry Taylor: B Side” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, "Henry Taylor: B Side" at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy o the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, “Henry Taylor: B Side” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Andrea Bowers (2010). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Robert Bean.

Henry Taylor, Andrea Bowers (2010). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Robert Bean.

Installation view, "Henry Taylor: B Side" at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy o the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, “Henry Taylor: B Side” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, “Henry Taylor: B Side” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, I Was King, When I Met The Queen – Syllable X’s Rhythm Equals Mumbo Jumbo (2013). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sam Kahn.

Henry Taylor, I Was King, When I Met The Queen – Syllable X’s Rhythm Equals Mumbo Jumbo (2013). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sam Kahn.

Henry Taylor, "Watch your back" (2013). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sam Kahn.

Henry Taylor, “Watch your back” (2013). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Sam Kahn.

Installation view, "Henry Taylor: B Side" at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy o the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Installation view, “Henry Taylor: B Side” at MOCA Grand Avenue. Courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Untitled (1991). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Untitled (1991). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo by Jeff McLane.

Henry Taylor, Gettin it Done (2016). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Henry Taylor, Gettin it Done (2016). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Henry Taylor, Cora (cornbread) (2008). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Henry Taylor, Cora (cornbread) (2008). Image and work ©Henry Taylor, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

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The New ICA San Francisco Opens Its Doors With an Artist-Curated Show About Black Women and Freedom


The Bay Area’s newest institution, the ICA San Francisco, celebrated the final phase of its opening last night, unveiling its biggest gallery space with a compelling group show on the importance of celebrating Black beauty, rest, and self expression, curated by California artists Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon.

Titled “Resting Our Eyes,” the exhibition features works from both big names and rising stars, with impressive loans by the likes of Carrie Mae Weems, Derrick Adams, Sadie Barnette, Genevieve Gaignard, and Simone Leigh.

Breon, who lives in Los Angeles, and Rasheed, who is from Oakland, met through the For Freedoms artist collective. (Group cofounder Hank Willis Thomas is among the artists featured in the show, along with his mother, photographer Deborah Willis.)

“So many people within the network just kept on assuming that we knew each other,” Breon told Midnight Publishing Group News at the exhibition’s opening reception. When they were finally introduced, the connection was instant.

Curators Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon at "Resting Our Eyes" at the ICA San Francisco. Photo by  Vikram Valluri for BFA.

Curators Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon at “Resting Our Eyes” at the ICA San Francisco. Photo by Vikram Valluri for BFA.

The two have spent the past year curating “Resting Our Eyes,” which offers a taste of founding ICA director Alison Gass’s socially minded vision for the institution, which looks to focus on under-represented voices in the art world.

The show’s theme was inspired by the Combahee River Collective, a group of Black feminists who began meeting in 1974.

“Basically the idea is that if and when black women are free, everyone else in the world will inevitably be free, because the systems that oppress black women would have to be dismantled and everyone else would benefit from it,” Breon said.

“When T and I started thinking about the mechanisms for freedom, we kept going back to leisure and adornment,” she added. “We were looking for the artwork that tells the story how we adorn ourselves and how we prioritize rest, because we see both of those as really necessary acts.”

See some of the works from the show below.

Adana Tillman, <em>Wild Things</em> (2020). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Adana Tillman, Wild Things (2020). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Gaignard, <em>Look What We've Become</em> (2020). Collection of Bob Rennie, Vancouver. Photo by Jeff Mclane, courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter, Los Angeles.

Gaignard, Look What We’ve Become (2020). Collection of Bob Rennie, Vancouver. Photo by Jeff Mclane, courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter, Los Angeles.

Sadie Barnette, <em>Easy in the Den</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco.

Sadie Barnette, Easy in the Den (2019).
Photo courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco.

Hank Willis Thomas, <em>Kama Mama, Kama Binti (Like Mother, Like Daughter)</em> (1971/2008) from "Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America." Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. Photo by Aaron Wessling Photography.

Hank Willis Thomas, Kama Mama, Kama Binti (Like Mother, Like Daughter) (1971/2008) from “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by
Corporate America.” Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. Photo by Aaron Wessling Photography.

Carrie Mae Weems, <em>The Blues</em> (2017). Collection of Jeffrey N. Dauber and Marc A. Levin. Courtesy of the Dauber/Levin Collection.

Carrie Mae Weems, The Blues (2017). Collection of Jeffrey N. Dauber and Marc A. Levin. Courtesy of the Dauber/Levin Collection.

Lauren Halsey, <em>Untitled</em> (2021). Photo by Allen Chen, courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.

Lauren Halsey, Untitled (2021). Photo by Allen Chen, courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.

Traci Bartlow, <em>Girl Boss</em> (1996). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Traci Bartlow, Girl Boss (1996). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Helina Metaferia, <em>Headdress 1</em> (2019). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Helina Metaferia, Headdress 1 (2019). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Carrie Mae Weems, <em>The Blues</em> (2017). Collection of Jeffrey N. Dauber and Marc A. Levin. Photo courtesy of the Dauber/Levin Collection.

Carrie Mae Weems, The Blues (2017). Collection of Jeffrey N. Dauber and Marc A. Levin. Photo courtesy of the Dauber/Levin Collection.

Ebony G. Patterson, <em>...they wondered what to do...for those who bear/bare witness</em> (2018). Photo courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Ebony G. Patterson, …they wondered what to do…for those who bear/bare witness
(2018). Photo courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago.

Resting Our Eyes” is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, 901 Minnesota Street, San Francisco, January 21–June 25, 2023. 

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Here Are 6 of the Most Daring Design Exhibitions to See This Month—Think Chainsawed Furnishings and Giant Crystal Forms


For design, like art, January is an important month. This is when top galleries and platforms around the world mount major shows, ringing in the new year on an optimistic note—and with unrestrained creativity.

This month’s offerings are no different. Dive into this selection of six design exhibitions—spanning Milan, Italy to Portland, Ore.—that push the limits of experimentation and self-expression.

 

Olga Engel and Sho Ota at Mia Karlova Galerie
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Installation view. Photo: Jeroen van der Spek, courtesy of Mia Karlova Galerie.

In its ”Poetic Design” exhibition (through February 10), Amsterdam’s Mia Karlova Galerie contrasts the sensuality of Latvian talent Olga Engel and the minimalism of Netherlands-based Japanese designer Sho Ota.

Engel’s ”Charlotte” furniture collection is an ode to the harmonious lines of French modernist Charlotte Perriand (who was closely associated with Le Corbusier), while Ota’s “Splint” series of wood-block chairs explores how certain universal forms, in different compositions, can better facilitate modularity and personalization.

 

John Shea at HB381
New York, United States

John Shea. Courtesy of HB381 gallery.

HB381 is the kunsthalle-style offshoot of the more established New York collectible design gallery Hostler Burrows. Since its inception last spring, HB381 has focused on showcasing interdisciplinary talents who attempt to free sculpture from limited definitions of art and design.

American talent John Shea demonstrates this philosophy with the transcendent ceramic sculptures in his “standard, abstract” solo show—on view from January 13 to February 25. His abstract sculptures are defined by intersections, where smooth geometric planes are interrupted by rough spheres. Shea’s shapes take their cues from microscopic silica crystals and the palette from Japanese painter Sanzo Wada‘s 1932 book, A Dictionary of Color Combinations.

 

Anne Libby and Philip Seibel at Magenta Plains
New York, United States

Anne Libby, These Days (2022). Polished cast aluminum. Courtesy of Magenta Plains.

Philip Seibel. Courtesy of Magenta Plains.

In New York’s Lower East Side from January 13 to February 25, Magenta Plains is showcasing new wall sculptures by Los Angeles-based Anne Libby that riff on domestic window blinds. Cast in polished aluminum, the intriguing works play with light and deflected reflection as they cascade against stark white backgrounds. 

Berlin-based artist Philip Seibel’s “Gehäuse” exhibition runs concurrently at the gallery. Like Libby, Seibel challenges the perception of readily available construction materials and consumer products to create sculptural objects that serve as contemporary tombs, shrines, and ornate storage boxes. The works demonstrate his ability to satirize the typology of everyday items through meticulous craft techniques. He also distorts the pieces with engravings of agrarian scenes from the Middle Ages.

 

Jake Clark at Albertz Benda
New York, United States

Jake Clark, installation view. Courtesy of Albertz Benda.

Poking fun at the commercial iconography of his adopted city of New York, Australian ceramicist Jake Clark debuts his latest psycho-geographic collection “Canal Street” at Albertz Benda gallery. Ceramic vessels, key chains, mugs, and plates are emblazoned with the likeness of the signs and logos he’s observed around town as a self-proclaimed outsider.

This collection is a play on and elevation of the souvenirs that tourists can find on the very street where the gallery is located. The logos of recognizable haunts like Balthazar restaurant are joined by depictions of subway cars and ciphers.

 

Makers at Caselli 11-12
Milan, Italy

Lewis Kemmenoe, Patchwork Cabinet. Cherry wood carcass and timber. Courtesy of Caselli 11-12.

(Left) Arnaud Eubelen, Lander table light. Old glass cover, cut wine glass bottle, rusted steel sheet, etc. (Right) Arnaud Eubelen, One Time Chair. Clothes rack tubes, burned fabric, etc. Courtesy of Caselli 11-12.

New Milanese platform Caselli 11-12 inaugurates its “Makers” series of shows with an exhibition dedicated to experimentation. Bringing together a whopping 29 avant-garde talents from across the globe, the showcase—on view through January 15—demonstrates how so many of today’s designers have taken it upon themselves to develop bespoke creative processes. Many are challenging the constraints of the design landscape by forging distinctly resourceful practices.

While Belgian up-and-comer Arnaud Eubelen creates furniture out of discarded building materials he finds around construction sites, New York-based Katy Brett sets out to evoke the quality of broken porcelain objects in the surface of solid wood tables and chairs. Many of the works on view are as thought-provoking as they are visually enticing.

 

Vince Skelly and Lynne Works Turner at Adams and Ollman
Portland, Oregon

Vince Skelly, Redwood Arch (2022) and assorted tables and chairs. Courtesy of Adams and Ollman.

Back on the West Coast of the U.S., Portland gallery Adams and Ollman is closing out an exhibition featuring new sculptural works by woodworking savant Vince Skelly. Skelly has taken on the design world with his intuitive chainsaw and traditional hand-carved tables and chairs that evoke the ecology of the woods he sources from natural disaster sites.

Among the primordial wood pieces, minimalist painter Lynne Woods Turner has placed wall art whose lines and nuanced colorations suggest what isn’t there. A similar pensiveness carries through from her works to Skelly’s organic forms, creating a tension between these two oeuvres. 

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In Her First Major U.S. Exhibition, French-American Sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle’s Vision of the World Shines at MoMA PS1


A legendary figure who fought against and transformed the rigidity of the art world, French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle has finally received a well-earned U.S. reception honoring her trailblazing artwork at MoMA PS1.

During her five decade-long career, the French-born, New York City-raised artist fearlessly defied categorical constraints to explore a boundless artistic practice. And the MoMA PS1 exhibition, underwritten by Swiss luxury skincare house La Prairie and entitled “Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life,” over 200 works spanning sculpture, drawings, video, and more reveal the vast expanse of Saint Phalle’s imagination and a steadfast dedication to her craft.

Niki de Saint Phalle. L'Estrella Carta No. XVII (The Star). 1997. © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation

Niki de Saint Phalle, L’Estrella Carta No. XVII (The Star) (1997). © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation.

As a child, Saint Phalle was subjected to a violent and tumultuous household. Deeply rooted trauma stemming from emotional and physical abuse would remain with Saint Phalle throughout her entire life. But rather than letting it swallow her, Saint Phalle channeled tragedy into an artistic practice.

At her psychiatrist’s recommendation, she began to translate the lingering pain of her early life into paintings. With the intention of creating joy, she began to adopt a visual vocabulary of almost childlike iconography, using a distinct palette of primary colors to build worlds of optimism and hope. 

From the onset, Saint Phalle’s practice explored human complexities. She welcomed hard-hitting subject matter, closely analyzing, for example, the treatment of women in society, and sought to transform and transcend these themes into a utopian existence.

In this way, Saint Phalle gifted herself a form of escapism from the sadness she carried. Play would also remain at the heart of Saint Phalle’s work throughout the entirety of her career, something she acknowledged kept her from falling into the pitfalls of depression. Though many in the mainstream art world would reject inviting in such a concept, for fear of not being taken seriously, Saint Phalle brilliantly adopted frivolity as a mechanism by which to connect with audiences around the world. 

Niki de Saint Phalle. La fontaine Stravinsky. c. 1983. Photo: Green Moon Marketing. © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation

Niki de Saint Phalle, La fontaine Stravinsky (c. 1983). Photo: Green Moon Marketing. © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation.

From the onset of her public life, Saint Phalle was unafraid to rebel against the expectations placed upon women. Called by Gloria Steinem “the first free woman I have ever seen,” her practice was purposefully loud and unapologetic. Carving out a lane for herself during the 1950s was no easy feat. Women at this time were both explicitly and implicitly instructed to take up little space, remain submissive to their male counterparts, marry young and live for the sole purpose of producing children and taking care of the home.

Though Saint Phalle began her adult life entering into the roles of wife and mother, she would reclaim her life through her artistic practice. She soon found herself part of a close-knit artist community made up of almost entirely men, including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Jean Tinguely, who would become her second husband. 

Though Saint Phalle first began garnering attention for “Tirs,” a body of paintings produced by firing a gun at plaster reliefs that released pockets of paint, her work would be cemented into the iconography of art history via the “Nanas” series. As female-inspired figures with curvy, exaggerated bodies, Saint Phalle’s “Nanas” looked toward art history and the ways in which women have been depicted since ancient times, and additionally looked to dismantle notions of the female form as a kind of object. The “Nanas” were eye-catching, bold, and highly memorable, nurturing an ongoing dialogue.

Niki de Saint Phalle. Mini Nana maison. c. 1968. © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation

Niki de Saint Phalle, “Mini Nana maison” (c. 1968). © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation.

A key aspect of the “Nanas” that existed elsewhere in Saint Phalle’s practice is a “disarming simplicity,” a term coined by Ruba Katrib, curator of “Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life.” The undertones of the artist’s work were always far more complex than what the visual language might offer. Saint Phalle did not want to isolate audiences with complexities; rather, she invited the masses to enjoy her work as a shared human experience. “Her Nanas confront Western standards of femininity and decorum: they are brash, ecstatic, and embrace sexuality,” noted Katrib, in a statement from La Prairie. “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.”

Though always intrinsically a part of Saint Phalle’s work, political and social issues would become more obviously woven into the artist’s work toward the latter part of her career. 

Niki de Saint Phalle. Cover of AIDS, You Can’t Catch It Holding Hands. 1986. Book; published by Bucher. Photo: NCAF Archives. © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation

Niki de Saint Phalle, book cover of AIDS, You Can’t Catch It Holding Hands (1986). Photo: NCAF Archives. © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation.

During the 1980s, as AIDS enveloped her community, Saint Phalle used her established platform to create work that directly called out the systems at play for insufficiently addressing the crisis.

Much of the work she would create at this time and in the decades until her death in 2002 feel astoundingly contemporary, especially as climate change, inadequate social and political leadership, and corruption remain crucial issues. 

La Prairie's Nighttime Oil from the Skin Caviar collection. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

La Prairie’s Nighttime Oil from the Skin Caviar collection. Photo courtesy La Prairie.

La Prairie’s involvement in “Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life” is a seamless fit for the brand, which has  taken inspiration from Niki de Saint Phalle’s monumental career since 1982, when the La Prairie team first encountered her work—and her compelling use of cobalt blue, which she once described as “the color of joy and luck”—in a shared New York design studio.

With an oeuvre of work that welcomed many forms of creating as a means to self-fund her more ambitious projects, Saint Phalle was, at the time, working on producing her own perfume, Flacon de Parfum. From then on, the cobalt blue of Saint Phalle’s perfume bottle would go on to serve as the direct inspiration for the color of La Prairie’s iconic Skin Caviar Collection. This Fall, the iconic collection goes beyond lifting and firming, and journeys into the depths of the Cobalt Night with the Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil, imbued with Caviar Retinol. An innovative, Bauhaus-inspired, double-glass encasement houses and protects an elusive and powerful new ingredient—Caviar Retinol—derived from La Prairie’s legendary Swiss caviar extract. Niki de Saint Phalle committed her life toward progressivism, so too has La Prairie demonstrated an unwavering duty to pioneering discoveries. 

For more content, see the below links. 

Art Basel x Niki
La Prairie x MoMA PS1: “Encountering Niki” Art Talk
LA Prairie on Niki de Saint Phalle

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