“Communism and capitalism have failed. I think the time has come for a new matriarchal society. Do you think that people would continue to die of hunger if women got involved? Women who give birth, who have the function of giving life — I can’t help but think that they could make a world in which I would be happy to live.”

First shaped of papier collé and wool, followed by resin, the Nanas were a natural extension of the idea of fertile goddesses and birth assemblages. According to the artist, these women, often with rounded bellies, originated from a drawing she did with Larry Rivers of his pregnant wife Clarice. Both beautiful and powerful, the Nanas are a manifestation of a new world in which women hold the power. Their generous and colorful bodies soon expanded and opened up as Nana-houses which themselves also suggested a different way of living. The first and largest of these Nana-houses is Hon (“she”), a giant, temporary sculpture created in 1966 with the help of Jean Tinguely and Per Olof Ultvedt at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, by invitation of its director, Pontus Hultén.