What Is Now Known Was Once Only Imagined: An (Auto)biography of Niki de Saint Phalle (2022)
Hardcover, 7.75 x 10 in. / 268 pgs / 200 color.
By Nicole Rudick
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, 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 life which she sometimes reveals with great candor, at other times carefully unwinding her secrets. Nicole Rudick, in a kind of collaboration with the artist, 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of Saint Phalle's visual and textual works from a trove of paintings, drawings, sketches and writings, many previously unpublished or long unavailable, that trace her mistakes and successes, her passions and her radical sense of joy. Saint Phalle's invocation—her "bringing to life"—writes Rudick, "is an apt summation of the overlap of Saint Phalle’s life and art: both a bringing into existence and a bringing to bear. These are visions from the frontiers of consciousness."