b. Freiburg, Switzerland, 22 May 1925 – d. Bern, Switzerland, 30 August 1991
Jean Tinguely was a Swiss artist whose talents encompassed painting, sculpting, and drawing. After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Basel, where he fell in love with Bauhaus and Constructivism, he moved to Paris in the early 1950s. In 1956, he met Yves Klein, and became one of the key players on the Parisian avant-garde scene through his involvement in Pierre Restany’s New Realism movement. Tinguely’s body of work was principally concentrated on machines, whose inner workings and moving parts particularly fascinated him, as well as the noises they made, and the strange poetry of their activity.
In the late 1960s, several exhibitions were dedicated to him “across the pond”, such as at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 1968. A number of retrospectives on his work were also held including at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1988, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 2016. His works feature among the collections of numerous institutions, among which number the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, and the Tate in London, to name but a few.