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.

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Jean Tinguely


Santana

Bascule
1966

Material / technique: Iron, wood, electric motor
Size: 80 x 110 x 35 cm
Inv.Number: 11206
Catalog: Bischofberger 0398
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

The colour black became an important means of expression for most of the sculptures Jean Tinguely created after 1963. In this way, he gave them the appearance of heavy industrial machinery from the 19th century, thereby underscoring the mechanical character of his works. On the other hand, he also obliterated all traces of the multi-coloured and shabby “objets trouvés“ found in his junk sculptures from the early 1960s and lent his new pieces a more monumental and elegant air. This impression is further reinforced by the pedestals upon which he now sets his pieces, and through what are usually classical or mythological titles. In spring 1965, Tinguely wrote from New York to Franz Meyer in Basel: « Actuellement mes machines sont noires et parfois même douces, si pas sexy ou alors d‘une violence contenue, techniquement j‘arrive enfin à les faire bien.» (“Currently, my machines are black and sometimes gentle, if not sexy or exuding a contained violence; I finally found the technical means for accomplishing this.”)