Looking back to the first museum exhibition of her monumental female figures, the Nanas, the artist Niki de Saint Phalle said, “For me they were the symbol of a happy, liberated woman. Today, nearly twenty years later, I see them differently. I see them as the forerunners of a new matriarchal epoch.” Controversial yet accessible, feminist yet collaborative with men, living for art yet smart about how to market it, the one and only Saint Phalle is celebrated this year in a number of exhibitions. This show, which marks the opening of Salon 94’s new building on East 89th Street, pays particular attention to Saint Phalle’s utopian vision, and includes rare maquettes, works on paper, archival film, late mechanical paintings, and yes, some Nanas. —L.J.
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