DE SAINT PHALLE, Niki; RUDICK, Nicole
What Is Now Known Was Once Only Imagined: An (Auto)biography of Niki de Saint Phalle
"Known best for her exuberant, often large-scale sculptural works that celebrate the abundance and complexity of female desire, imagination, and creativity, Niki de Saint Phalle viewed making art as a ritual and a performance—a process connecting life to art. This unconventional, illuminated biography, told in the first person in Saint Phalle’s voice and her own hand, dilates large and small moments in Saint Phalle’s remarkable life as an artist who pointedly challenged taboos.
In a kind of collaboration with the artist, Nicole Rudick has assembled a gorgeous and detailed mosaic of Saint Phalle’s visual and textual works from a trove of paintings, drawings, sketches, and writings, many rare or previously unpublished. These confessions, declarations, meditations, and musings trace the most intimate contours of Saint Phalle’s life. In some works, Saint Phalle articulates herself with startling candor and self-examination; in others, she carefully and slowly unwinds her secrets as she herself wrestles with them. Throughout, her agency in telling her own story is paramount.
What Is Now Known But Was Once Only Imagined is an erudite, insightful, and generous construction of Niki de Saint Phalle’s life that, despite the recognizability of her work, has remained mostly obscured, until now." [publisher's note]