Saturday, August 21

Sunny Friday

Malbrouck Castle
Friday the girls and I set out to visit Malbrouck Castle. It is located in a tiny little village in France called Manderen. Manderen is only about 35 minutes from Lux City but in that short drive we actually drove through 3 countries - Lux, Germany and then France. Crazy. Only possible in a teeny country like Luxembourg.
Malbrouk Castle
What brought us to Malbrouck was not so much the Castle itself, but the art exhibit that was showing there. It was the work of Niki de Saint Phalle. Are you familiar with her? She is responsible for the large, colorful sculptures of very curvaceous women (among other things, as I learned.) The exhibit covered her career as a artist; starting with her collages, then moving to drawings, sculpture and even film. She used to be a fashion model, which I find so interesting - a woman with a "model" body creating such rotund and generously sized women in sculpture.
Exhibit at Malbrouk
Niki de Saint Phalle refers to her curvaceous women as nanas. She began creating them after witnessing the pregnancy of her friend. The nana came to symbolize maternity and femininity - and every woman. Luxembourg has a blue nana, placed right near the post office in the center of the city. She is referred to around here as The Blue Lady.
Lux Sculpture 1.21.09
The girls were happy to go see more sculptures by The Blue Lady artist. Their color and whimsy easily captured the girls attention. We also packed a picnic lunch. Picnics will get them to go anywhere!! The Castle's courtyard held our favorite works. There were 3 large, mosaic (she was influenced by Gaudi) nanas glittering in the sun! There were also 4 totem pole statues. I always get excited seeing a bit of American history in Europe. de Saint Phalle was born in France but moved to the States, living in California and on the east coast.
Malbrouk Castle
The only down side to this exhibit was the rule about photography being prohibited! I tell ya, those mosaic nanas in the courtyard were begging to be photographed! I resisted. I followed the rules. Sigh. Here you can see a short video of the exhibit (scroll down a bit.) Better than nothing, huh?

If you are a local, I highly suggest this exhibit. Better hurry, though, it's over at the end of August.


se7en said...

Oh I just love your travels... three countries in half in hour and a trip to an ancient castle with "blue ladies"... Sounds like a lot of fun!!!

Jessica said...

I followed the link you posted that took me to wikipedia and found that Niki has a piece of work in my home town, Escondido, CA. Here is the link:

What a small world. Thanks for sharing

Jason H said...

Awesome! We were wondering about the "Blue Lady" when we were wandering around Lux City. Thanks for the info!

likeschocolate said...

Her art work was here in Atlanta a few years ago, but sadly I missed it.

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