"I have a very special feeling for Hanover"

Niki de Saint Phalle

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She is the creator of the world-famous Nanas and Hanover's first and so far only honorary citizen.

Niki de Saint Phalle

She was friends with Hanover for over 30 years: Niki de Saint Phalle - born October 29, 1930 in Paris, died May 21, 2002 in San Diego. The world artist last impressively expressed her affection for the city on the Leine in autumn 2000 in one sentence: "I have a very special feeling for Hanover," said the then 70-year-old.

Niki de Saint Phalle's artistic breakthrough came in the 1950s when he took part in exhibitions by the international group "Nouveaux Réalistes". In the following decades, in addition to her films "Daddy" and "Camélia et le Dragon" and the exhibitions in all important museums in the world, numerous extraordinary art projects received a lot of attention: For example the giant Nana "Hon - en katedral" for the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (1966), the "Paradies Fantastique" for the French EXPO pavilion in Montreal (1967), which she designed together with her longtime partner Jean Tinguely, the monster house "Golem" with slides in Jerusalem (1972) and the " Giardino dei Tarocchi" in Tuscany, which was created based on an idea from 1974 and was finally completed in 1996.

The installation of the three colourful, voluminous Nanas made of polyester on the banks of the Leine in Hanover in 1974 had triggered a storm of protest among some Hanoverians, but also brought about - the first - a lively and profound discussion about art in public street space. In the meantime, the Nanas, which quickly became the symbol of the EXPO city, are loved.

Niki de Saint Phalle has been working on the redesign of the grotto for Hanover since 1998. The honorary citizen of the city of Hanover died a year before the completion of the impressive grotto in the Great Garden. The detailed plans made by her and a lot of information from her employees made it possible to complete (in) the (redesigned) grotto. The grotto in Herrenhausen is thus the last major art project that Niki de Saint Phalle completed before her death. For more information about Niki de Saint Phalle, visit the Artist's website and on the Sprengel Museum website .