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Tinguely Meta-Matic

Tinguely Meta-Matic

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By Jean TInquely, Kaira Canas, Hans-Christioan Hermann, Domink Muller and Johan Pas.

Associated with the Nouveaux Réalistes and Zero, Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely (1925–91) is best known for his whirring, jangling meta-mechanic sculptures, which take up Dada’s mantle in their use of discarded materials and their wit, humor and irony. But this perception of Tinguely as merely a playful kinetic sculptor neglects the more topical, critical, theoretical and interdisciplinary aspects of Tinguely’s work. An extensive monograph on this chronically underpublished artist, Jean Tinguely: Retrospective is the first publication to explore the artist’s work from this perspective.

Tinguely’s machines are built to malfunction or self-destruct, expressing a pessimistic view of human existence and death–and yet they are infectiously cheerful. His meta-mechanics suggest a hobbyist’s enthusiasm for technology, but made out of junk, they also suggest the artist’s skepticism regarding technological advance. Tinguely loved art history, and yet he launched savage attacks on the museum with pieces that are now seminal works of institutional critique.

  • Koenig Books, 2016
  • Hardcover with 248 pages
  • 9 x 11 inches

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