CHARLOTTE, NC—There are two creative markers in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art—a sign declaring the block the “Levine Avenue of the Arts” and a giant, joyful sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle. The Bechtler was established at the behest of Andreas Bechtler, a Swiss-born entrepreneur, artist and collector who resides in Charlotte. His parents began collecting mid-century art during his childhood and when he acquired a portion of their works, he continued to expand the collection. A public/private partnership, the relatively new museum opened in 2010 to house the Bechtler collection. Accumulated over 70 years, the collection includes portraits of the Bechtler family by Andy Warhol, that hang in the elevator lobby.
All photos © Arts Observer
Above, “L’oiseau de feu sur l’arche (The Firebird),” 1991 (7,500 mirror mosaics over polyester on steel armature) by Niki de Sainte Phalle. Top of page, Detail of “The Firebird” in front of the Bechtler museum.
Rear installation view of “The Firebird” by Niki de Saint Phalle. The Bechtler is within eyeshot of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture (in distant background).