Published by Koenig Books. Text by Kaira Cabañas, Hans-Christian von Herrmann, Dominik Müller, Johan Pas, Margriet Schavemaker, Barbara Til, Beat Wismer, Thekla Zell.
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.
With contributions from Kaira Cabañas, Hans-Christian von Herrmann, Dominik Müller, Johan Pas, Margriet Schavemaker, Barbara Til and Beat Wismer, this volume presents Tinguely as an artist whose work sustained contradictions and courted ambiguity.