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Jean Tinguely

Jean Tinguely

Jean Tinguely : 1925-1991

The Maschinenbild Haus Lange (Machine Picture Haus Lange) was made in 1960 for Jean Tinguely´s first ever solo exhibition in a museum. The basis for the work is a relief dating from 1955, which he had devised as a multiple for the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld. Parallel to the exhibition catalogue, the visitors could purchase a construction plan and all the necessary parts, enabling them to construct the artwork themselves: With this plan I invite you to construct this picture, or have someone do it for you, and to regard the result when done exactly as an original piece by me. Jean Tinguely. Even the artistÂ’s signature was included on a label that verified the original character of the work.

This relief belongs to the group of Tinguely´s works he entitled Meta-Malevich, which he produced after his arrival in Paris in the mid-1950s. The prefix »Meta« describes the progressive character of the works. In this composition of five rectangular forms suspended on a surface, he draws formally on the Suprematist paintings of the Russian father of Geometrical Abstraction, while extending them through the dimension of time. Since the mechanism is located on the rear side and is
invisible to the viewer, the lively character of the work only reveals itself once the electricity has been turned on. The individual components of the picture assume constantly new positions and with that produce ever-new combinations.

Kindly on loan from Tinguely Museum. Basel, Switzerland.