The "Fun"ctional art of Nicola L. Whimsical Aquariums & Furniture

Nicola L Functional Art

French Artist Nicola L passed away in January of 2019, ten years after this post was first published.

French born Nicola L. (that’s right, just an L. for the last name) is a conceptual artist who creates everything from performances, films and functional art. Having had a hugely prolific career for over five decades, she has shown in many galleries and has a clear affinity for heads, eyes and snails as you can see from some of her functional art pieces I’ve chosen to share with you below.

Nicola L Functional Art

Some of the following pieces were created as editions and may still be available for purchase via the galleries listed at the end of this post.

Plexi Head Fish Tank:
head shaped fish tank by nicola L.

head shaped fish tank

Head Aquarium and Bar:
head aquarium and bar nicola l

Wooden head bookcase and Library Head:
Wooden head bookcase and Library Head by Nicola L

Wooden head bookcase and Library Head

Green Head Sofa:
green profile sofa

White Vinyl Head Sofa:
white vinyl head ottoman

Little Head Tables:
head silhouette tables

Plexi Head Planter:
plexi head profile planter

Head Fountain:
Plexi head fountain

Giant Fire Head and Little Fire Head:
profile silhouette candle holders

12 Faces Rug:
12 faces rug nicola l

Plexi Eye Ceiling Lamp:
Plexi Eye Ceiling Lamp

Eye Glass Coffee Table:
Eye Glass Coffee Table

Large Plexi Eye Wall Lamp:
Large Plexi Eye Wall Lamp Nicola L

Plexi Eye Wall Lights and Lips Floor Lamp:
Plexi Eye Wall Lights and Lips Floor Lamp

Snail Birdcage:
snail birdcage nicola l

Blue Snail Sofa:
Blue Snail Settee by Nicola L

Snail Wardrobe Cabinet:
Snail cabinet Nicola L

Snail Table on Snail Rug:
snail table on snail rug

Snail Bed reflected in Snail Mirror:
snail bed reflected in snail mirror

The Artist

Artist Nicola L
French Artist Nicola L 

A bit about her:
In the thirty years since her first exhibitions, Nicola L. has returned to the body on numerous occasions, producing extremely limited editions of lamps, see-through planters, aquariums, storage containers, tables, and her famous “Femme Commode” and “Femme Coffre Fort”.

She had her first show at Daniel Templon Gallery Paris in 1969, followed by many exhibitions in european galleries and museums, with also a show in New York at Wadell Gallery in 1973. She moved to New York in 1979 where her functional work was featured between 1986 and 2004 in numerous galleries including: Alan Moss, Vrej Baghoomian, Peder Bonier, Wooster Projects and also recently at Twentieth Gallery in L.A. She is currently showing her work at Galerie Patricia Dorfmann, Galerie Pierre Alain Challier, and Galerie Catberro in Paris. Her last show in New York City was a retrospective at Ingrao Gallery in 2006.

Nicola’s work is frequently featured in auctions at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Bonhams & Butterfield. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Beaubourg, Antwerpen Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art of Glasgow, The Collection of The Frac Bretagne and many private American and European collections.

Plastic blinking eyes by Nicola L

In 2008 she has had two shows in Paris, in April and May 2008, respectively, “Planet Eye” at Galerie Pierre Alain Challier, and “Functional Art 1989-2008” at Galerie Catberro, Paris.

THE RED COAT FOR 11 PEOPLE (1969) Last performance for Canal Plus+ at Galerie Favardin de Verneuil, Paris, Sept. 30th 2008
above: THE RED COAT FOR 11 PEOPLE (1969) Last performance for Canal Plus+ at Galerie Favardin de Verneuil, Paris, Sept. 30th 2008

She is also continuing the performance with The Blue Cape, named now “The Blue Cape Of Human Rights“.

The above book is available in French only, buy it here.

Nicola L.

UPDATE: Sadly, French Artist Nicola L passed away on January 3, 2019.
Learn more about Nicola here and see more of her work here.