Jean Tinguely (22 May 1925 – 30 August 1991) was a Swiss sculptor best known for his kinetic art sculptural machines (known officially as metamechanics) that extended the Dada tradition into the later part of the 20th century. Tinguely's art satirized automation and the technological overproduction of material goods.
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The Swiss sculptor began experimenting with motors in the late 1930s. In 1940 he began studying at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule, Basel. After WWII he abandoned painting for sculpture. In 1953, with Daniel Spoerri he planned ‘Autothéâtre’ a performerless ballet of colored shapes and objects, which went unrealized. Soon after he began building his meta-mechanical devices, which could be set in motion by the viewer. In the late 1950s he produced the 'Meta-matic' painting and drawing machines; portable devices that allowed the viewer to produce abstract images on paper automatically. In 1960 Tinguely’s association with Arman, César, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, the critic Pierre Restany, and others, led to the founding of the Nouveau Réalisme group. He created auto-destructive works including one at MoMA, "Homage to New York' in 1960. In 1964 he began a creative and romantic relationship with Niki de Saint-Phalle, and in 1966 he collaborated with her and Per-Olof Ultvedt on a monumental sculpture, 'Hon.' He eventually married Saint Phalle, and they collaborated on a number of other works, including fountains and environments. He is considered a pioneer of kinetic art. The Museum Tinguely, dedicated to his work, is in Basel, Switzerland.
Artist, Assemblage Artist, Sculptor
Jean Tinguely
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