Jean Tinguely

1925 - 1991

Died in Bern (Switzerland), born in Fribourg (Switzerland).

Jean Tinguely is pace-setter of the informal group of artists who commandeer the Hessenhuis in the spring of 1959. He is well apt for the role, contributing three reliefs that move fast and make much noise. The ‘concert’ that these produce was not a hit with the exhibition’s visitors. Tinguely had formerly made reliefs of geometric forms driven by electromotors inciting endless variations upon an abstract motif. At the end of the 1950s he goes further with his ‘Variation’ series, to which Papillon also belongs. It is much more brutal work. The clattering of staves with small white surfaces that, at high tempo, collide with other staves is clearly meant as a provocation. Tinguely is here already on the way towards his gigantic self-destructing installation Homage to New York from 1960.

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