Jean Tinguely. Fragment from Homage to New York. 1960

Jean Tinguely

Fragment from Homage to New York

1960

Medium
Painted metal, fabric, tape, wood, and rubber tires
Dimensions
6' 8 1/4" x 29 5/8" x 7' 3 7/8" (203.7 x 75.1 x 223.2 cm)
Credit
Gift of the artist
Object number
227.1968
Copyright
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Jean Tinguely has 23 works online.
There are 1,539 sculptures online.

This is one piece of what the artist called a “self-constructing and self-destroying work of art,” composed of bicycle wheels, motors, a piano, an addressograph, a go-cart, a bathtub, and other cast-off objects. Twenty-three feet long, twenty-seven feet high, and painted white, the machine was set in motion on March 18, 1960, before an audience in the Museum’s sculpture garden.

During its brief operation, a meteorological trial balloon inflated and burst, colored smoke was discharged, paintings were made and destroyed, and bottles crashed to the ground. A player piano, metal drums, a radio broadcast, a recording of the artist explaining his work, and a competing shrill voice correcting him provided the cacophonic sound track to the machine’s self-destruction—until it was stopped short by the fire department.

Gallery label from 2011

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