Niki de Saint Phalle


Niki de Saint Phalle (born Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle, 1930-2002) was an important artist of the postwar period. She created an original style, inspired by myths, her own travel experiences, and lessons absorbed from the avant-garde art of France, the country where she was born, and the United States, where she spent her youth. She quickly became famous for the “shooting paintings” that she carried out in 1961. These artworks were completed by shooting a rifle at plaster reliefs containing cans and bags filled with paint. They embodied elements of both painting and sculpture, and the method she used to create them has been recognized as a precursor of performance art. Later on, Saint Phalle took great interest in representations of women, creating liberated female images characterized by vivid colors and dynamic forms in the Nana series, which still appeals to a wide audience. She was a versatile artist who also produced theatrical performances and films and became actively involved in designing architectural sculpture, exemplified by the Tarot Garden project. Beginning in the early 1980s, Saint Phalle entered into a more than 20-year friendship with Yoko Shizue Masuda, founder of the Niki Museum in Nasu (open from 1994 to 2011). Masuda formed a collection of Saint Phalle’s art and worked hard to make her varied artistic achievements better known in Japan. Her efforts were effective in gaining renewed respect for the artist in this country. This exhibition, coming 85 years after Saint Phalle’s birth, will be the largest retrospective exhibition of her art ever to be held in Japan, including valuable works that will be shown for the first time here. It includes some elements of the retrospective organized at the Grand Palais in Paris in autumn 2014, giving a broad overview of Saint Phalle’s marvelous artistic world. It features approximately 150 examples from Saint Phalle’s early to late work, including shooting paintings and sculptures as well as drawings and prints. It also spotlights the special relationship Saint Phalle developed with Japan through her friendship with Yoko Shizue Masuda.

List of works

Date September 18 (Fri.) -December 14 (Mon.), 2015
Closed on Tuesdays (except September 22 and November 3 ), November 4 (Wed.)
Opening hours 10:00-18:00 *10:00-20:00 on Fridays
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan), Special Exhibition Gallery 1E
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 106-8558
Organized by The National Art Center, Tokyo
Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais
Niki Charitable Art Foundation
NHK Promotions Inc.
With the support of Ambassade de France / Institut français du Japon
With the sponsorship of Nissha Printing Co., Ltd.
With the special cooperation of Yoko Shizue Masuda Collection
With the cooperation of Air France / KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Admission(tax included)
General 1,600 yen (Adults), 1,200 yen (College students), 800 yen (High school students)
Advance/Group 1,400 yen (Adults), 1,000 yen (College students), 600 yen (High school students)
  • Visitors who are under junior high school students and disabled people with ID booklets (along with the one assistant) will be admitted for free.
  • Free entrance to the exhibition for high school students from October 10 to October 12, 2015, upon presenting students ID.
  • Advance tickets on sale from June 1 (Mon.), 2015 until September 17 (Thurs.), 2015
  • Group tickets will only be available at the venue and discounts only applicable to groups of 20 people or more.
  • Reduction (100 yen off) applies to visitors who present the ticket stub of a concurrent exhibition at The National Art Center, Tokyo, Suntory Museum of Art or Mori Art Museum (Art Triangle Roppongi).
  • For Students, faculty and staff, of “Campus Members”, group discounts apply to purchasing tickets.
  • Credit card (UC, Master Card, VISA, JCB, AMEX, Diners Club, DISCOVER) , e-cash (Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, etc.), iD, J-Debit and Union Pay are available for purchasing tickets.
Inquiries Tel: +81 (0)3-5405-8686 (Hello Dial)