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Jean Tinguely portrait by Lothar Wolleh
22 May 1925|
|Died||30 August 1991
|Known for||Painting, Sculpture|
Jean Tinguely (22 May 1925 – 30 August 1991) was a Swiss painter and sculptor. He is best known for his sculptural machines or kinetic art, in the Dada tradition; known officially as metamechanics. Tinguely's art satirized the mindless overproduction of material goods in advanced industrial society.
Tinguely grew up in Basel, but moved to France in 1952 with his first wife Swiss artist Eva Aeppli, to pursue a career in art. He belonged to the Parisian avantgarde in the mid-twentieth century and was one of the artists who signed the New Realist's manifesto (Nouveau réalisme) in 1960.
His best-known work, a self-destroying sculpture titled Homage to New York (1960), only partially self-destructed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, although his later work, Study for an End of the World No. 2 (1962), detonated successfully in front of an audience gathered in the desert outside Las Vegas.
- Chaos I (1974), sculpture in The Commons, Columbus, Indiana, USA
- Le Cyclop outside of Milly-la-Forêt.
- The Stravinsky Fountain (fr: La Fontaine Stravinsky) near the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1983), a collaboration with Niki de Saint Phalle.
- Carnival Fountain (Fasnachtsbrunnen) (1977) in Basel.
- Tinguely Fountain (1977) in Basel.
- Lifesaver Fountain on Königstrasse in Duisburg, Germany, a collaboration with Niki de Saint Phalle
- Jo Siffert Fountain (commonly called Tinguely Fountain), Fribourg, Switzerland
- La Cascade, sculpture in the Carillon Building lobby, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
- Métamatic generative sculptures (1950s)
- Luminator (1991), on loan until 2014 to the EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse
Noise music recordings
- 1963 ‘Sounds of Sculpture’, 7”, Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan_[Tinguely’s sculptures recorded by avant-garde composer Toshi Ichiyanagi during Japanese exhibition]
- 1972 ‘Méta’, book+7_, Propyläen Verlag, Stockholm
- 1983 ‘‘Sculptures at The Tate Gallery, 1982_, Audio Arts cassette
- 1983 ‘Meta-Harmonie H’ incl. in ‘Meridians 2_ compmqenan ate a pie
- 2001 ‘Relief Meta-Mechanique Sonore I’ incl. in ‘A Diagnosis’ compilation, Revolver-Archiv Für Aktuelle Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Influence on others
In Arthur Penn's Mickey One (1965) the mime-like Artist (Kamatari Fujiwara) with his self-destructive machine is an obvious Tinguely tribute.
- Chapter on Tinguely in Calvin Tomkins' The Bride and Her Bachelors.
- K. G. Pontus Hultén; Author of Jean Tinguely "Meta" (English translation published in 1975 by New York Graphic Society Ltd., Boston) Large hard cover, 519 Illustrations. Translated from German by Mary Whittall. Original German version published 1972.
- Leu, Aia. The Art of the Leu Family, SeedPress, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9551109-2-4. (p. 13).
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- Jean Tinguely in the SIKART dictionary and database
- Tinguely-Museum in Basel
- Biography by the Tinguely Museum in Basel
- Art Cyclopaedia: Jean Tinguely
- videos: Tinguely's kinetic fountains in Basel and Paris
- Métamatic Research Initiative
- Lecture by Kaira Cabañas (PhD, Princeton University) Homage to New York: Jean Tinguely's Destructive Art delivered November 20, 2008 in New York City at Museum of Modern Art