Collection Online of Museum Tinguely

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Jean Tinguely; Niki de Saint Phalle

Le Cyclop - La Tête


Material / technique: Scrap iron, mirrors
Size: 180 x 240 x 110 cm
Inv.Number: 11301
Catalog: Bischofberger 0741
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

In the creation of “Cyclop“ it was left to Niki de Saint Phalle to give the mythological creature a face. She made the first model as early as 1970, at that time still with two eyes and painted yellow. The choice of colour would subsequently prove to be quite difficult. The huge sculpture stands in the middle of the forest of Milly-la-Forêt, and Niki de Saint Phalle perceived every possible colour variation as an intervention in the natural environment, as competition for the glowing green of the trees. It was not until the mid-1980s that the artist found a solution to the colour issue: she completely covered the framework for the face, made of iron gridwork and sprayed concrete, with mirrors. This seemed the most appropriate choice for her, given the woodland setting with its tall trees. As a result, the face of the “Cyclop“ glows in the colours of nature: green in summer, variegated red and brown in autumn, and in winter reflecting the colour of the sky. It thus became one with the forest of which it now forms a part.

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