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

Miostar No. 2


Material / technique: Migros drill, clamp, scrap iron, red feather duster
Size: 62 x 50 x 50 cm
Inv.Number: 11241
Catalog: Bischofberger 052
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

“I have absolutely no technical talents whatsoever; I’m a dreamer, dogged in my work, but I’ve always remained a dreamer. I am always free of all materiality. I function purely through a belief in a cause, with the idea of a machine, and I feel completely free to feel this machine and then to build it.” (ZDF 1989) Just how free Tinguely felt was demonstrated by the exhibition Débriscollages (sic!) at Galerie Bischofberger in Zurich in November 1974. The title could be translated as “destructive arts & crafts“ and describes a material-destroying activity using high-performance tools, but at the same time alludes to Tinguely’s delight in motors. The artist made sculptures out of conventional precision tools found in any household for the exhibition, works that illustrate the function of these devices but at the same time make fun of them by taking them to absurd extremes. The household drill, here of the “Miostar” type, inspired the artist to create this version. Almost brutally, the delicate feather puff is set awhirl. The incongruity between power and performance is ridiculous and alienating, and yet the unused, wasted energy also has a liberating effect on the viewer.