While the United States was going through the Pop Art Movement in the 50s and 60s, France was experiencing the Nouveaux Réalistes. The most important female artist of that moment was Niki de Saint Phalle.
Niki de Saint Phalle with Jasper Johns, 1961
She was born into a bourgeois french family, but raised in New York City. She eloped at the age of 18 and had 2 children with author Harry Mathews, and quickly moved to Paris. A few years into the marriage, finding herself in the same bourgeois lifestyle that she had tried to escape, she suffered a nervous breakdown. In her recovery, she discovered painting and decided to become an artist. By 1960 her marriage was over, and she began a relationship with artist Jean Tinguely- it would be a life-long collaboration, romantically and creatively.