Jean Tinguely
Jean Tinguely. Art.
. Art.

Jean Tinguely

Almost a year ago, I discovered the work of Jean Tinguely, his mechanisms for creating abstract drawings. At that time, I was already amazed by the large number of artists who incorporate technology into their works, and Tinguely's work didn't leave me indifferent.

Stedelijk Museum

Two months after discovering his existence, in December 2016, while spending a weekend in Amsterdam, I stumbled upon the exhibition 'Machine Spectacle' by Jean Tinguely.

Undoubtedly, one of the exhibitions I liked the most. As soon as I entered, I could already see some of the works hanging from the museum's ceiling.

hroughout the exhibition, you encountered a wide variety of sculptures. Some of them were simply on display, while others could be activated but only for a limited time, as they were old and restored mechanisms that couldn't be in constant operation.

At first glance, they looked like complex mechanisms, but they performed seemingly random and uncontrolled movements. Each of the works had something surprising about it, but what surprised me the most was the end of the exhibition... It was a dark room where only different sculptures of different sizes, shapes, etc. were illuminated, creating a rather intriguing atmosphere. Like most of the exhibition, these sculptures were activated at intervals. When I saw all these sculptures together, I was expecting them to move quickly or somehow all the sculptures would move together. But it was the opposite of what I expected.

The sensation they generated was quite intriguing. Each sculpture moved independently and at a rather slow pace. What was curious was the noise and the shadows they generated, reminiscent of a horror movie scene (or more typical of Saw).

Discovering the artist

“Tinguely aimed to critique the overproduction of material goods by an increasingly industrialized society.”Arte de ayer y hoy – El arte cinético: Jean Tinguely

“His most famous sculpture is 'Homage to New York,' from 1960, and it's a self-destructing work. It partially destroyed itself at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.” Arte de ayer y hoy – El arte cinético: Jean Tinguely

He applied the term 'meta-mechanics' to refer to his creations. 'The concept is to show that a work of art is never a definitive object, but rather, its creative capacities are truly the potentialities that are granted to it by both the artist and the viewers.” Cultura Colectiva – Jean Tinguely: arte cinético

“By creating machinery that was not intended to do work, produce products or perform any utilitarian function whatsoever he expanded the definition of what sculpture could be, and offered viewers a chance to re-contextualize the machine age from a purely aesthetic viewpoint.” Ideel Art – Jean Tinguely and his Metamechanics