Nana (plastic)

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The Nanas "Sophie", "Caroline" and "Charlotte" on Leibnizufer in Hanover
Traders and visitors to the old town flea market between the Nanas
Nana angel in Zurich main station

Nanas are sculptures by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002), which use the imagery of Pop Art to depict sensual, colorfully designed, voluminous female bodies with oversized gender characteristics.

" Nana " is an ambiguous term from French for a modern, self-confident, erotic and wicked woman. In the mid-1960s, Niki de Saint Phalle anticipated the ideas of the women's movement with the saying “All power to the Nanas!” . Her oversized female sculptures were exhibited for the first time in October 1965 in Paris. The life-affirming, happy, colorful, mostly dancing, often larger than life, fat “Nanas” run through her further work. In 1968/69 the Black Nana was created in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum and in 1994 in the Museum Ludwig the Nana on a dolphin . The Nanas initially stand for vitality, femininity, free design without inhibitions and conventions, they unite all women in themselves, are a comprehensive reflection of the female existence.

She realized her greatest “Nana” together with Jean Tinguely in 1966 in front of the Stockholm Moderna Museet . Hon - en katedral (Swedish: you - a cathedral ) is what they called the 29 meter long sculpture of a woman's body that could be explored through the vagina. This “nana” housed a cinema, a love niche in the leg, a milk bar in the chest and a mechanical uterus in the stomach. This was also Niki's ironic comment on the traditional ideal of women.

In 1974, three colorful, voluminous “Nanas” made of polyester were set up on the Leibnizufer der Leine in Hanover . They became the cornerstone of the later Hanover Sculpture Mile . The lineup initially led to storms of protest, but also triggered the first discussion about art in public street space . Ultimately, they provided the decisive impetus for an intensive discussion about art as a form of everyday culture .


Web links

Commons : Nana by Niki de Saint Phalle  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Nana  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations