Collection Online of Museum Tinguely

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Jean Tinguely


Méta-mechanische Skulptur

Material / technique: Iron tripod, metal rods and wires, 9 variously coloured metal elements, electric motor
Size: 89 x 82 x 65 cm
Inv.Number: 11103
Catalog: Bischofberger 0034
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel

Many of the “Méta-mécaniques“ have names like “Méta-Herbin“, which refers to the French abstract painter Auguste Herbin. The geometric elements painted in clear tones and set into motion in the wire sculptures recall Herbin’s abstract compositions and demonstrate Tinguely’s interest in making static art moveable and changeable. The mutability and variability of artworks is a motif running through Tinguely’s entire oeuvre. Starting with the idea that abstract pictures should be variable and that the changes should happen within a framework characterised by accident and mechanical imperfection, Tinguely provided important impulses for the kinetic art that began to flourish in the 1950s.

Pictures in our Collection

The following applies for uses of pictures in relation to our collection:
Museum Tinguely does not own any copyright in works by Jean Tinguely or other artists in the collection. The clarification of these rights and payment in respect of them is a matter for the applicant. In Switzerland, the collecting society responsible for this is ProLitteris, Zurich (link website: Museum Tinguely undertakes no liability for third party claims arising from infringement of copyright and personality rights.

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

>> History of the collection