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


Wundermaschine - Méta-Kandinsky I

Relief polychrome
1956

Material / technique: wooden panel with 9 variously shaped and painted metal elements, wooden wheels, metal rods, rubber belts, 110V electric motor
Size: 39.8 x 103.2 x 33 cm
Inv.Number: 11107
Catalog: Bischofberger 0058
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel

«J’expose des ‹peintures›, la machine c’est mon chassis.» In an exhibition in October 1955 at the Samlaren Gallery in Stockholm, initiated by Pontus Hulten, Tinguely showed a group of his most recent works. The titles already reveal the unique character of these pieces: in “Trois points blancs“ and “Blanc-bleu-noir No I“ the relief takes on colour; the severe, mostly black-and-white “Eléments détachés“ and “Méta-Maleviches“ are combined with the multiple colours of the “Méta-Herbins” to produce the comely offspring “Reliefs polychromes”. Like the “Méta-Maleviches“, the “Reliefs polychromes“ also have various moving parts set before a background that is usually painted in a deep monochrome tone. Here however, the multiple colours are also accompanied by a greater variety in the shapes of the compositional elements. While the former were still dominated by line and circle, works such as “Bleu, jaune sur fond noir” from 1955 and “Relief cinétique I” from 1956 display acute and obtuse triangles, hooks, irregular trapezoids and much more. Special formal elements are found in the two 1955 works “Ocre, bistre, vert” and “Trois points blancs”. While the latter displays a second relief plane behind which individual compositional elements disappear in whole or part during the movement sequence, Tinguely also uses in both works negative and positive shapes reminiscent of Henri Matisse, Sophie Taeuber Arp or Hans Arp that come together to form new shapes at certain phases of the movement sequence. These works thus already point ahead to sculptures executed from 1956 on, such as the groups “Reliefs blanc sur noir”, “Reliefs blanc sur blanc” and “Œufs d’onocrotales”.