Star Fountain

The monumental, voluptuous Star Fountain is apparent even before visitors enter the Foundation. Over three meters high, Niki de Saint-Phalle’s sculpture is positioned on a small rocky hillock. Dozens of stars made of ceramic and mirrored tiles adorn this soft, immaculate body. The sculpture is part of a series of three “Nanas” in the same position, holding a vase in each hand. A «Nana» is a woman with exaggerated curves around the breasts and buttocks: a modern woman, who evades conventional definitions of pre-determined beauty. One of these Nanas is in the Tarot Garden in Tuscany. Niki de Saint-Phalle exhibited 22 Nanas made between 1979 and 1993, each of which contains the features of the 22 Major Arcana – the most significant cards in a Tarot deck.

“The star has two vases that throw water into a river, the waters of renewal. The star represents a complete being, not fragmented, it represents physical health and spiritual health. The star is in contact with nature and all its abundance, it knows all the true laws of heaven and earth. “(Niki de Saint-Phalle – Le jardin des tarots – p 58)

Niki De Saint-Phalle

An active member of the New Realists, Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002) is one of the most important French artists of the twentieth century. Working across many disciplines, she is famous for both her Shots series and her Nanas. Her sculptures can be seen in different public places throughout Europe, such as La Fontaine Stravinsky (1983) next to the Pompidou Center in Paris, a series of Nanas in Hanover, or L’Ange Protector (1997) suspended in the Hall of Zurich Central Station.