Friday, July 3, 2020

Niki de Saint Phalle, Harry and Me 1950-1960: The Family Years, Benteli Publishers, Switzerland, 2006

I've always enjoyed Niki de Saint Phalle's funky aesthetic, in fact her accordion book 'My Love' (1971) was the publication that made me look further at accordion books and it directly inspired me to start this blog - so I owe a lot to this formidable artist. This book is not an accordion but a very frank autobiographical account of the years 1950-60, and of her marriage to Harry Mathews. The interesting fact about this book is that she includes Mathews' comments and memories, and he offers his own perspective on events and incidents that happened during their lives together.

However, interspersed across this book are three fold-out sections and one is an accordion fold!  As you can see Phalle addresses the pressing social and political issues of this decade in a very direct manner, with the atomic cloud hovering over the whole piece. I think this is a powerful work and just had to include it in this blog.

Follow this link to check out 'My Love' (1971) in this blog:

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