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Photo: Amos Anderson Art Museum / Stella Ojala

Tinguely’s Motorized Machine Sculptures at Amos Anderson 0

Jean Tinguely
Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki
Until May 26, 2014

Until May 26, Amos Anderson Art Museum is hosting extensive exhibition of works by the Swiss artist Jean Tinguely.

Jean Tinguely (1925–1991) was one of the most influential Modernists of the second half of the 20th century, and his works rarely leave anyone unmoved. His art, with its appeal to both intellect and emotion, is an unforgettable experience. Tinguely was a rebel with a powerful personality. He is known for his noisy, spectacular, motorized machine sculptures. His works are in museum collections and parks around the world, but only a few of them have been seen in Finland. The Amos Anderson Art Museum is showing close to thirty machine sculptures, along with drawings and photographs. All this is rounded off by a selection of films that shed light on Tinguely's actions, including a self-destroying sculpture in the Nevada desert from 1962.

Jean Tinguely & Jo Siffert. Fribourg, 1970. Photo: Jack Metzger

Jean Tinguely's art is full of absurd games and black humour. Underlying it, however, is a serious, critical attitude to industrial society and to the mountain of waste that it produces. Tinguely pioneered the recycling of materials, and his sculptures assembled from scrap and electrical motors are grotesquely beautiful emblems of a modern world in incessant motion.

Jean Tinguely. Hannibal II, 1967. Basel Tourismus, Basel. Photo: Stella Ojala

Jean Tinguely. Meta-Matic nr 8. Meta-Moritz, 1959. 
Collection and Photo: Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Jean Tinguely. Rotozaza II, 1967. Museum Tinguely, Basel. Photo: Christian Baur. Copyright: Museum Tinguely

The exhibition has been mounted in collaboration with the Museum Tinguely in Basel. The majority of the works come from the collection of this treasury bearing the artist's name. Several items have also been borrowed from Moderna Museet, Stockholm. The selection on display has been tailored to suit the spaces at the Amos Anderson Art Museum. The earliest pieces shown here are from the initial stages of Tinguely's career in the 1950s, and the latest from the end of the 1980s. Highlights include the Rotozaza II bottle-smashing machine, the awe-inspiring Hannibal II, plus the large-scale Pit-Stop assembled from two Formula 1 racing cars. Also here are some of the pieces that Tinguely made collaboratively, for instance, with his wife Niki de Saint Phalle and his friend Yves Klein.

Jean Tinguely & Niki de Saint. Phalle: Le Cyclop – La Tete, 1970. Mueum Tinguely, Basel. Photo: Christian Baur. Copyright: Museum Tinguely