Gods and Goddesses at the Bechtler Museum

Reviewing the exhibition “Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of a New Mythology,” now at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, Richard Maschal writes in the Charlotte Observer that “we live in arid times,” cut off from nature and from myth. “The stories and images of gods and goddesses that nourished our ancestors, helping them understand themselves and the world, are gone,” he says. “We’re left with pale substitutes: celebrities…”

“Niki de Saint Phalle understood all this,” Maschal goes on. “And the French-American artist, who died in 2002 at age 71, determined to do something about it. She made paintings, prints and sculptures full of images and forms to reconnect us to what we’ve lost. At the same time, she sought to inject a quality not often found in contemporary art — fun.”

The five large sculptures on public display outside the museum and the 54 works inside the Bechtler “brim with emotions, ideas and colors to ravish the optic nerve,” says Maschal. You have the whole summer to see for yourself: “Niki de Saint Phalle: Creation of a New Mythology” will be at the Bechtler through October 3.