Nana on a Dolphin
|Artist||Niki de Saint Phalle|
|Type||fiberglass & mosaic|
|Location||National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., United States|
|Owner||Niki Charitable Art Foundation|
Nana on a Dolphin is a public artwork by French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. Nana on a Dolphin is part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts New York Avenue Sculpture Project and has also been on display at the home of Nicole Salinger in Provence, France.
In the style of de Saint Phalle's work, Nana on a Dolphin depicts one of her signature Nana's standing on the back of a brilliantly colored dolphin. The dolphin is covered in bright colored mosaic tiles with a slight grin to its lip line. Just in front of the dolphins top fin stands Nana, standing with her proper right foot kicked behind her, to balance with one foot. Her faceless head and body is orange and she wears a silver bathing suit with de Saint Phalle's signature heart on the proper left breast and black tile on the proper right. In her proper right hand she holds a red ball and her proper left hand is thrown behind her back. The statue stands on a steel pole which is then bolted into a concrete block.
New York Avenue Sculpture Project
Nana on a Dolphin are is one of the many sculptures being installed for the Project by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. By 2015 a selection of sculptures will be installed along New York Avenue from 13th Street to 9th Street, in the heart of Mount Vernon Square. The museums efforts are in part to bring "character" to an area where "there is a lot of good stuff going on," due to revitalization programs in the neighborhood. de Saint Phalle's works, four in total, are the first in a series of installations. The museums installation of de Saint Phalle's iconic pop art works are meant to be contrasting to the traditional sculpture that graces the streets and squares of Washington.
These works will remain up for one year, before being returned to the artists foundation.
The artwork was installed mid-April 2010, being delivered to its placement location by way of a flat-bed semi-truck in crates. Each piece was removed and placed by way of a crane.
Nana on a Dolphin, along with the other de Saint Phalle sculptures in the project, were dedicated at 1:30 p.m. on April 28, 2010., with an evening reception within the museum. Dr. Jill Biden, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jack Evans, National Museum of Women in the Arts founder Wilhelmina Holladay and de Saint Phalle's granddaughter Bloum Cardenas, along with members of the D.C. BID, District of Columbia Department of Transportation, D.C. Office of the Planning, among others, attended the ribbon cutting.
The entire selection of de Saint Phalle's works are removed during the winter for conservation purposes, only to reappear in the Spring.
Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik stated that the pieces are "less weighty than what we hope to find inside our museums." Glopnik believed the pieces were nothing like the Picasso or van Gogh works that are often expected. "They are probably best enjoyed at a nice downtown clip of 15 or 20 mph." 
Gopnik also touches on the idea of the works being from a woman-based museum: "Wouldn't you imagine that when a women's museum makes its most public statement yet, it would avoid any hint of decor or fluff?" Describing de Saint Phalle's works as "scary and aggressive" versus what others often describe as jubilant and goofy. Overall, he describes the works as plop art.
- Les Trois Grâces, another sculpture in the project.
- National Museum of Women in the Arts (2010). "Fact Sheet". New York Ave Sculpture Project at National Museum of Women in the Arts. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Retrieved 8 Feb 2011.
- National Museum of Women in the Arts (2010). "Images". New York Ave Sculpture Project at National Museum of Women in the Arts. National Museum of Women in the Arts. Retrieved 8 Feb 2011.
- Jacqueline Trescott (February 24, 2010). "National Museum of Women in the Arts to turn D.C. corridor into sculpture alley". Style (The Washington Post). Retrieved 8 Feb 2011.
- Blake Gopnik (April 28, 2010). "Sculptures add color to New York Avenue, but are they art?". Style (The Washington Post). Retrieved 8 Feb 2011.
- Broad Strokes (2010). "Nana on a Dolphin is HERE!". National Museum of Women in the Arts. Retrieved 9 Feb 2011.