Tinguely: Machine Spectacle


Stedelijk Museum, October 1 2016 – March 5 2017

While Jean Tinguely’s spectacular machine sculptures may seem witty and playful, their charming absurdity has a dark side: he contrasts play, pleasure and irony with a fascination for aggression, self-destruction and death. It was precisely Tinguely’s ability to meld these polar opposites that makes his oeuvre so engaging and compelling.

The Stedelijk Museum has an eventful history with Tinguely, rooted in the exhibitions that Tinguely (co-)curated at the Stedelijk Museum: Bewogen Beweging (1961) and Dylaby (1962). Bringing to the Netherlands not only his interactive machines but also his international avant-garde circle, he made a lasting impression on the public, who visited these experimental exhibitions in unprecedented numbers. Thirteen of his works ended up in the Stedelijk collection, including his drawing machine Méta-Matic No. 10 (1959), the unique Gismo (1960) and his enormous Méta II (1971).

Twenty-five years after Jean Tinguely’s death, the Stedelijk Museum honors this extraordinary artist in a comprehensive retrospective. The works in the collection have been restored and will be combined with over a 100 loans from major museums and private lenders. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf (the fist venue, opening on April 22 2016) and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Curatorial team: Beat Wismer/Barbara Til (Kunstpalast) and Margriet Schavemaker (Stedelijk Museum). A joined catalogue is published in collaboration with Walther König Verlag.