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Jean Tinguely

Le soulier de Madame Lacasse


Material / technique: Wooden podium, bicycle wheels, iron and steel rods and wires, shoe, cardboard panel (painted IKB blue) rubber belts, electric motor
Size: 262 x 210 x 65 cm
Inv.Number: 11140
Catalog: Bischofberger 0160
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel

In “Le Soulier de Madame Lacasse“ Tinguely plays pranks with the machine and its mechanics, showing traits not normally connected with them: random and absurd activities. Moreover, he juxtaposes here utterly disparate objects in new relationships and reanimates them by means of violent movements, making them seem alien to the viewer but at the same time drawing his attention to these normally unremarkable things. Instead of a pedestal, a rusty iron table serves as base. Atop it the artist sets an elaborate construction made of wheels, V-belts and axes, which, driven by an electric motor, moves parts of a motorcycle yawing and clamouring up and down. Tinguely’s “Soulier de Madame Lacasse“ is an anti-machine that wastes its energy on an optical and acoustic spectacle instead of putting it into productive work. When the motor is switched on, a worn-out shoe that once belonged to Madame Lacasse, the wife of a Belgian artist who, like Tinguely, had his studio in the Impasse Ronsin in Paris, is catapulted through the air accompanied by the deafening noise of the machine. On another long iron wire flaps an ultramarine cardboard panel from Tinguely’s artist friend Yves Klein, who wanted to revolutionise the world with the deep blue colour he had developed.

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

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