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Jean Tinguely

La Vache Suisse - Corso Fleurie


Material / technique: Scrap iron, wooden wheel, skull, plastic flowers, electric motor
Size: 200 x 210 x 110 cm
Inv.Number: 11381
Catalogue raisonné: Bischofberger 0939
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

In size and monumentality, this portrait of a Swiss cow seems to enjoy equal standing with the artist’s “ancestral gallery“ of “philosophers“. The two-metre-tall skull-headed creature, decorated like a prize-winning alpine cow, nods regally at the viewer with a superior air. With a great deal of humour, the fabric of the structure alludes to the special features of this animal, such as its thick neck and elongated body with solid hindquarters and playful tail. The skull is affixed in such a way that it stares us directly in the eye. Tinguely succeeds with this amusing machine creature, which consists of nothing more than a framework or skeleton, to nonetheless suggest the volumes and body forms of the animal.