Art@Site Jean Tinguely Grosse Spirale Basel

Jean Tinguely


Grosse Spirale

Museum Tinguely
A simple curved line is teetering on the edge of a concrete block. On top of it, a spiral is turning. Just for fun. It takes a while untill you see how the coil is made; a round form is clipped out of a circle and is folded.
You can see the steel plates, bolts, sawed circle. Such structures have usually a clear function which is easely read. But with Grosse Spirale you see immediately that Tinguely is joking.
Only children are so imaginative and playful to make such an unorthodox form. And this pleasure always stayed with Jean Tinguely.
By Theo,

Een eenvoudige gebogen lijn balanceert op het randje van een betonblok. Aan het einde daarvan draait een spiraal. Gewoon, omdat het leuk is. Het duurt even voordat je snapt hoe de spiraal gemaakt is; uit een cirkel is een ronde vorm geknipt en uiteen gevouwen.
Je ziet de stalen platen, bouten, ingezaagde cirkel. Een dergelijke constructie heeft meestal een duidelijke functie, dat duidelijk leesbaar is. Maar bij Grosse Spirale snap je direct dat Tinguely een grapje maakt.
Alleen kinderen bedenken en maken spelenderwijs de gekste vormen. En dit plezier is bij Jean Tinguely altijd gebleven.
By Theo,
A pioneer of kinetic sculpture, Jean Tinguely worked in the Dada tradition, satirizing industrial society’s overproduction of material with his complex assemblages of metal and machinery.
Of his most renowned kinetic sculpture, Homage to New York (1960), Tinguely said, “it’s a sculpture, it’s a picture, it’s an accompanist, it’s a poet, it’s decoration—this machine is a situation.” He fabricated the 27-by-30-foot contraption from recycled metal scraps and designed it to self-destruct at the culmination of a half-hour performance, explaining, “the destruction is necessary because this machine is a grandiose spectacle that must live intensely.” Tragicomically, a firefighter intervened when flames burst out, so it never played out as intended during the single performance held in MoMA’s sculpture garden; however, the idea that an intensive, creative life leads to self-destruction lives on in Tinguely’s legacy.
'Spiral' belongs to a group of sculptures Tinguely developed in the mid-1960s. The sculpture consists of welded iron and wooden elements and is coated entirely with matt black paint to give a uniform and defined character to the found components.
Visitors are invited to press the red button, which rushes 'Spiral' into a spinning motion. Tinguely described these sculptures, in a conversation with the curator Harald Szeemann, as being 'relatively soundless and civilised' compared to his earlier 'haphazard and noisy machine-sculptures'.
Inspiriert durch eine Begegnung von Tinguely mit James D. Watson, dem Entdecker der Doppel-Helix-Strukture der DNA.
Jean Tinguely, *1925 Freiburg im Üechtland, † 1991 Bern.
Grosse Spirale, 1971–1973.
Motorbewegte Skulptur. Auftrag: Hoffmann–La Roche.
Standort: Museum Tinguely, Paul Sacher-Anlage.
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.
Born in Fribourg, Tinguely grew up in Basel, but moved to France in 1952 with his first wife, Swiss artist Eva Aeppli, to pursue a career in art. He belonged to the Parisian avantgarde in the mid-twentieth century and was one of the artists who signed the New Realist's manifesto (Nouveau réalisme) in 1960.
His best-known work, a self-destroying sculpture titled Homage to New York (1960), only partially self-destructed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City,[4] although his later work, Study for an End of the World No. 2 (1962), detonated successfully in front of an audience gathered in the desert outside Las Vegas.
Tinguely married fellow Swiss artist Eva Aeppli in 1951. In 1971, he married his second wife, Niki de Saint Phalle with whom he collaborated on several artistic projects, such as the Hon – en katedral or Le Cyclop.
Tinguely died in 1991 at the age of 66 years in the Bern Hospital of heart failure.