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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Online 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: www.prolitteris.ch). Museum Tinguely undertakes no liability for third party claims arising from infringement of copyright and personality rights.


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Jean Tinguely


Sketch of the functions and movements of the Méta-Malevich

ca. 1954

Material / technique: black ink on paper
Size: 13,5 x 21 cm
Inv.Number: 4143
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel

The young art historian Pontus Hulten, a close friend of Tinguely’s from 1954, suggested the generic term “Méta-mécaniques“ for Tinguely’s constructions, as the broad spectrum of meanings that can be read into the Greek prefix ”méta“ – which can signify “together with“, “after” or even “beyond” – seemed suitable for indicating the mutability of the works. Tinguely enthusiastically took up this suggestion and from then on named his work groups after the artist from whom he had derived formal inspiration, tacking on “meta” in front: “Méta-Kandinsky“, “Méta-Herbin“, “Méta-Mortensen” or “Méta-Malevich”.