Niki de Saint Phalle, Ricardo Cat, 1999

urethane, stones, steel, stained glass, silicone grout, mirrors, epoxy, ceramic tile

Ricardo Cat almost purrs contentedly as it cuddles seated guests. A curiosity for culture leads de Saint Phalle to lap up equal measures of theology, myth and legend. This sculpture draws on Egyptian, Greek and pre-Colombian tales about felis catus. Ricardo Cat encapsulates the role of playful kitten, sheltering mother and mercurial companion by incorporating wild fantasies and everyday objects within its fur of mosaic shards. The azure headed feline also embraces the contradictory representations of good versus evil, male versus female and comfort versus terror. Underneath the polychromatic ‘tabby-calico-van-tuxedo’ coat of ceramic and glass, a watertight urethane skin covers a stocky concrete steel armature. The visible effect combines joyful and despairing icons built upon the foundation of the artist’s independent playfulness.

Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission with funds from the Sidney Cohen Purchase Fund, Nancy Singer, Commerce Bank and the Horowitz Foundation

Location: Museum Circle