Collection
Museum Tinguely

Collection of Museum Tinguely

Works and work groups belonging to all phases of Jean Tinguely’s career are to be found in the museum's collection. Along with selected temporary loans, they afford the visitor an extensive view of the artist’s career. Apart from sculptures, the collection furthermore comprises a large number of drawings and letter-drawings, documents, exhibition posters, catalogues and documentation such as photographs. In the measure of the possible all the exhibits are accessible to the public and regularly shown, be it in the permanent collection or as loans to exhibitions worldwide.

The museum’s collections are the result of a generous donation by the artist’s widow, Niki de Saint Phalle, made on the occasion of its foundation, a donation of works from the Roche collection, as well as several other gifts and acquisitions.

>> Biography of Jean Tinguely

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Jean Tinguely


Suzuki (Hiroshima)

1963

Material / technique: Iron, children’s bicycle wheel, rubber, iron goblet, concrete, electric motor
Size: 140 x 70 x 50 cm
Inv.Number: 11191
Catalog: Bischofberger 0304
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

In February 1963, Jean Tinguely arrived in Tokyo to prepare an exhibition at the Minami Gallery. As was his custom, the artist executed his sculptures on site in Japan, especially for the exhibition, using materials he found there. The parts he uses thus make reference to the host country. Tinguely searched Tokyo’s junkyards for pieces he could use in his sculptures and then put them together at the gallery. “J‘ai fait des Ikebanas stabilisés“, he wrote enthusiastically to his friend Pontus Hulten. He called his new sculptures “Casoar”, “Zing-Zing”, “Honda” and “Suzuki”. After the “Balubas“ and the other wild sculptures of previous years, these machines move in a calmer, more moderate rhythm. Nevertheless, a powerful, violent eruption still seems possible at any moment. In transforming the Japanese influences he felt into the works he created in Tokyo, Tinguely manifests his role as “Homo Ludens“, playing with and mediating between the different cultures and connecting them with the help of machines and technology. A catalogue was published for the Tokyo show that came with a record album featuring the piece “Tinguely-Sound”, a composition by Japanese avant-garde musician Toshi Ichiyanagi.