... visually splendid book brings to life all the complexities and contradictions of the legendary sculptor, painter, and filmmaker. By strictly relying on Saint Phalle’s own writings, scribblings, letters, memoirs, essays, and often text-heavy graphic artworks, Rudick adroitly creates a loose narrative of the artist’s unruly life while resisting interpretation. The result is a kind of legerdemain of editing without judgment or speculation, an open text that invites the reader to linger on Saint Phalle’s lushly reproduced imagery and to contemplate her inextricably linked work and life. (I suggest using a magnifying glass, as I did, to explore the artist’s intricate drawings and occasionally tiny handwriting) ... The narrative that Rudick presents is frank and unsparing.
... ebullient, poignant ... What is compelling about Rudick’s book is that it is something of an antidote to all that, putting forward a form—the '(auto)biography'—in which the two authors are both present and accounted for fairly and correctly. More quietly, What Is Now Known also clarifies editing as a creative act rather than a definitive one. Saint Phalle wrote nothing for this book, and yet this book is written by her. Embracing that contradiction, Rudick enables the artist to speak for herself, as herself, once again.
In this innovative and kaleidoscopic work, Rudick brings to life the irrepressible vitality of French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002) by letting her subject speak for herself ... Both nightmarish and whimsical, the sketches displayed throughout offer titillating context to her most notorious works ... This wondrous work does justice to a boundless artist.