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.

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Jean Tinguely

Le Cerveau Electro-ironique

c. 1960

Material / technique: Blue ballpoint pen on extremely dirty exercise book paper
Size: 17 x 22 cm
Inv.Number: 3833
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel

In this dense drawing Tinguely sketched two wheel mechanisms mounted in a rectangular frame. These anticipate the “Méta-Harmonies“ he would create 15 years later, as well as representing attempts to tame the junkyard pieces that dominated Tinguely’s work in the early 1960s. This theme connects the drawing – which was apparently not followed by an executed work – with sculptures such as “Si c’est noir, je m’appelle Jean”.