Collection Online of Museum Tinguely

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Jean Tinguely



Material / technique: Metal rods, wire, plastic, wood, electric motor, original pedestal of white plaster
Size: 120 x 37 x 37 cm
Inv.Number: 11166
Catalog: Bischofberger 1127
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

In his “Balubas”, executed from autumn 1961 to spring 1963, Tinguely lets a vast abundance of the detritus of civilisation and consumer rubbish perform a wild and provocative dance. Alongside pieces of iron and wire, there are plastic fragments, brightly coloured feathers, rubber bands, furs, toys - banal everyday objects that Tinguely puts together into fragile assemblages. The juxtaposition of numerous individual pieces that were never meant to go together generates a bizarre and irritating effect. Starting in October 1960, Jean Tinguely lived with artist Niki de Saint Phalle in his studio on Impasse Ronsin. Inspired by her work, he integrated coloured feathers into the “Balubas” that give them an exuberant, high-spirited air. The improvisational look of the structure of iron wire, which is twisted together in only a few places and is hastily taped in others, gives the impression of a rapid and intuitive work process. Some “Balubas” possess a fragile equilibrium and look as though Tinguely had quickly sketched them in space.

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