Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) La Machine à rêver  280 x 346 x 120 cm. (110 1/4 x 136 1/4 x 47 1/4
Lot 47
Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) La Machine à rêver 280 x 346 x 120 cm. (110 1/4 x 136 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.)
£200,000 - 300,000
US$ 330,000 - 500,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002)
La Machine à rêver
painted fibreglass
280 x 346 x 120 cm. (110 1/4 x 136 1/4 x 47 1/4 in.)
Executed in 1970

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Alexander Iolas, Athens.

    Exhibited:
    Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Rétrospective 1954-80, 1980, travelling to Berlin, Haus am Waldsee, 1980, p. 1 and p. 69, illustrated in the catalogue.
    Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Rétrospective 1954-80, 1981, pp. 68-69, illustrated in the catalogue.
    Angers, Museé des Beaux-arts d'Angers, Niki de Saint Phalle, des assemblages aux œuvres monumentales, 23 June-15 September 2004, p. 80, illustrated in colour in the catalogue.
    Barcelona, Fondacion Joan Miró, Woman. Metamorphosis of Modernity, 26 November 2004 - 6 February 2005.

    Literature:
    Exhibition catalogue, Niki de Saint Phalle: L'invitation au Musée, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1993, pp. 90-91, illustrated


    In 1965, the generous shapes, high colours and naïve forms of Niki de Saint Phalle’s Nanas series presented at the Galerie Iolas in Paris offered a most appealing formula of the French ‘Nouveau Realisme’. The sculptures spurred a lifetime production of variations on the theme, and Saint Phalle’s Nanas have become one of the quintessential hallmarks of twentieth century art. With the artist’s French aristocratic origins and American upper-class upbringing, these visual odes to a triumphant femininity have been interpreted as the rebellious creations of a young soul in social captivity. Whatever the personal and multi-layered contradictions of their initial creation, Saint Phalle’s sculptures endorse with colourful distorsions the confident transgressions of a collective Feminism. From the fecund figurines of the Paleolithic goddesses, to the proportioned marbles of the Medici-Venus types (pudicae), to Saint Phalle’s curvaceous Nanas, the gender is liberated and the circle is complete.

    The present sculpture associates the ‘character’ of Saint Phalle’s Nana figure with the fractured composition of a riding/cycling vehicle. The blind body enjoys the simulated mechanisms of a dream-cycle as she is pulled on the back of a wheeled machine. The monumental size of the sculpture - 280 x 346 x 120cm - tends to ground the ethereal image contained in the soporific title. With La machine a rever, Niki de Saint Phalle departs from the single-figure Nana and begins to explore the greater and bolder dimensions of the oversize goddess set in oversized furnishings; the sculpture marks a step in the artist’s creative process leading to the concept of the “femme-cathedrale”, which culminated with the 27metre-long reclining figure of Hon/Elle, executed the following year, in 1966.


Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.