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Thursday, July 18, 2024

THREE STRONG WOMEN: Niki de Saint Phalle, Sylvette David und Elvira Bach – Kunsthalle Messmer | 29.06.-24.11.2024

Editors’ Choice

With Niki de Saint Phalle, Sylvette David and Elvira Bach, the Kunsthalle Messmer is showing the works of three artists who were already intensively involved with the role of women in society in the 20th century. Much of what is depicted in their works is based on their own experiences and adventures.

Image above: Photo: Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002), L’Ange Vase, 1993, Niki Charitable Art Foundation/VG Bildkunst Bonn 2024, photographer: Frank Rapp

Until now, there has never been an exhibition of works by Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) in the region. The Kunsthalle Messmer is delighted to be able to show the unmistakable oeuvre of this artist. Her colourful nanosculptures were created from 1965 onwards, and in these seemingly weightless creations with their small heads and corpulent but extremely vital bodies, she celebrates the beauty of the female body.

After the act of destruction of the “shooting pictures” with which the artist had caused a furore in the early 1960s, the feminine power of the Nanas healed the sexual abuse by her father and the anger at her mother’s silence. In the 1960s, Niki de Saint Phalle and her husband Jean Tinguely (1925-1991) were regarded as the “Bonnie and Clyde” of the visual arts, and their works come together in one section of the exhibition.

In addition to prints and book objects, several of the artist’s sculptures are on display. Important loans came from the Museum of Art and History in Fribourg/Switzerland, the Galerie Kornfeld Kunsthandel GmbH & Co KG, Bern, the BEGE Gallery in Ulm, the Galerie am Dom in Wetzlar and numerous private lenders.

About the artists:

Sylviette David
Sylvette David (*1934), became world-famous as Picasso’s model and muse. The exhibition shows paintings and ceramics that quietly continue the dialogue with Pablo Picasso that began a long time ago. It is a journey back in time to 1954 and the idyllic ceramics village of Vallauris. Since converting to Christianity, the artist has called herself Lydia Corbett. She currently lives in the county of Devonshire in the south-west of England.

Elvira Bach

Elvira Bach (*1951) lives and works in Berlin, and to this day her name is inextricably linked with the “Junge Wilde”. Her participation in “documenta 7” in Kassel in 1982 was a real sensation: it was the first time that works by a woman had been shown in this important, but completely male-dominated series of contemporary art exhibitions. The theme of her expressive, colourful paintings is characterised by an emphatically female perspective. She shows women as she imagines, wishes and dreams of them: as erotic, self-determined divas, graces and vamps.


Exhibition dates: Saturday, 29 June to Sunday, 24 November 2024

Vernissage: Friday, 28 June 2024, 7 pm

Opening hours: Tue – Sun, 10 am – 5 pm


Kunsthalle Messmer
Grossherzog-Leopold-Platz 1
79359 Riegel am Kaiserstuhl


Normal price: 13,50 euro

Reduced: 11,50 euro

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