Il Luogi dei Sogni : Il Giardino dei Tarocchi di Niki de Saint Phalle

The place of dreams: The Tarot Garden of Niki de Saint Phalle

Capalbio, 9 July – 3 November 2021
Collacchioni Palace – Il Frantoio Gallery

The Municipality of Capalbio pays homage to the work of Niki de Saint Phalle, centered on her artistic relationship with Italy, with a large exhibition curated by Lucia Pesapane.

tarot-garden-niki-saint-pahlle-lucia-pesapaneTarot Garden, 1991 @Il Giardino dei Tarocchi. Litografia 60.3 x 80 cm

Thanks to the testimonies of friends and collaborators, who together with the artist gave life to the Tarot Garden, the exhibition tells the relevance of the feminist, ecological, avant-garde and committed message that she left us as a gift. More than 100 works, including sculptures, drawings, videos, photographs from the 1960s to the 1990s, some of which are unpublished and never presented to the public.

The generosity of collectors with the collaboration of the Fondazione Il Giardino dei Tarocchi, The Niki Charitable Art Foundation and Fondazione Capalbio have finally made this important event possible project.

The Tarot Garden, a splendid artistic park located in Garavicchio in the municipality of Capalbio, is the result of an entire life dedicated by Niki de Saint Phalle to art and proof that dreams can come true, even if you are a woman, an artist , entrepreneur and sole financier of such a work. Like most of her work, the Garden is the manifestation of a microcosm capable of revealing the deepest and most secret archetypal images of our unconscious. For the visitor who crosses the perimeter wall, which symbolically separates the real world from the imaginary one, an initiatory journey opens up which leads him to fight dragons and devils and come across queens and prophets to finally meet the Angel of Temperance .

Italy / Viva Italia, 1984Viva l’Italia, 1984. Collezione Privata. Litografia 98 x 68 cm

The Tarot Garden is a place to live in community, a place where life is marked by the rhythm of the sun and moon and by the desire to share. This artistic path, which translates into real political action, is today more relevant than ever, in a reality where the concepts of imprisonment and solitude undermine the foundations of a society that the artist desired based instead on meaning of participation.

In Capalbio Niki de Saint Phalle shares everything with her assistants and friends, values and encourages her collaborators to create with her in the name of a collective project where the absolute protagonist is Art. Already in the 1980s the artist implemented his quest to live in a different community, in a compassionate and empathetic society rich in community values. Not only as an artist but also as a woman of action and avant-garde. She was an ante litteram feminist, starting from the 1950s she defended the civil rights of African-Americans. In the 1990s, she was highly critical of the old continent, which promulgated a dangerous rise in conservatism, arguing in favor of a united and progressive Europe. “I dream of living in a space without borders” – you have always declared. Her reflections on ecological issues and climate change became increasingly urgent, especially in the last years of her life. In light of these social commitments, which have fascinated you so much, Niki you would certainly have considered the crisis we are facing today as a crucial moment to create something new and better. Deeply convinced of the human capacity for innovation and reinvention, she would have interpreted this time as a moment of collective awareness, which can open a new path against the arrogance and aggressiveness of the political, economic and financial system.

La Lune (Moon Goddess), 1997La Lune, 1997. © Il Giardino dei Tarocchi Litografia, collage, adesivi brillanti 75 x 56.8 cm

The place of dreams: The Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle follows a precise thematic path: the exhibition takes place in two exhibition spaces that intersect and complement each other, but each of these has a its specific soul. At Palazzo Collacchioni, in the ancient village of Capalbio, the history of the Tarot Garden is retraced, from the end of the seventies to today through photos, videos, sculptures, maquettes, collages that help to understand its way of working and its true spirit . Some historical works are exhibited in the Il Frantoio Gallery, including assemblages from the 1960s, raw clay maquettes preliminary to the creation of the Garden, his final masterpiece, and unpublished archive videos.

Here the curatorial choices have favored the analysis of the artist's symbolic language, focusing on the interpretation of the Tarot cards. Sculptures of the cards are also on display, accompanied by lithographs, drawings and quotes.

Il press release (solo in italiano)