Discover the inspiration behind Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden
Posted: 28 August 2017
September issue of House and Leisure and, here, we discover her influencers.
park güell by antoni gaudíPark Güell in Barcelona, Spain, she first visited in 1955. The influence of Gaudí’s trencadís (broken ceramic and glass mosaics) on her sculptural forms is very clear. In 1900, Eusebi Guell commissioned Gaudí to design and build a residential park for 60 single-family residences. However, the project was unsuccessful, and the park became city property in 1923. Although incomplete, it's now one of Gaudí's most colourful and playful works, featuring 'visual jokes' such as columns modelled after palm-tree trunks and quilts of ceramic tiles. It's not hard to find inspiration in this architectural jungle.
palais idéal by ferdinand chevalPalais Idéal in Hauterives, France. It had long been one of De Saint Phalle’s ambitions to create a large-scale public work that was also a thematic garden. Independent of any artistic trend or architectural boundaries, the Palais Idéal has influenced many artists for more than a century. Apparently the sculpture came to Cheval, a postman at the time, in a dream, and took 33 years to complete. On his daily commute, he would collect stones that he then used to build the Palais Idéal by hand. Filled with poetry, sculptures and unique artistry, it's a wonder to gaze upon – and is completely unclassifiable.
owl house by helen martins
Read more about Niki de Saint Phalle's magical Tarot Garden in our #HLArtIssue – online and in stores now.