Nicola L. 1937–2018

Nicola L.'s playful and heady blend of feminism, body politics, humor and a pop sensibility make her one of the leading figures to have emerged from the recent re-examinations of the Pop Art movement. Her iconic and provocative works blur the distinction between art and design, nudging viewers to change the way they inhabit space and use objects.

Nicola L. was born in Mazagan, Morocco in 1937 later moving to and growing up in Paris. As a young woman, she attended the Académie Julian before studying at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. While at the prestigious school, Nicola L. felt stifled by its traditional approach to art making and its aesthetic and philosophical conservatism. After graduating, she became associated with the Parisian Nouveau Réalisme group, which included Arman, Christo, Yves Klein, Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely; the movement was seen as a European counterpart to the Pop Art movement. Critic and founder of the movement Pierre Restany described it as "a poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality," in that it rejected the lyricism of abstraction and the traditional nature of figuration and instead used reality as its medium to create performances, collages and assemblages that worked to deconstruct the special, singular nature of the art object.

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