1925 – 1991
Jean Tinguely was a Swiss artist and an important member of New Realism in Europe in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As descendants of Dadaism with links to American Pop art, Tinguely, Yves Klein, Arman, Pierre Restany and others, seek to break away from the first methods of abstract painting. Tinguely develops his kinetic sculptures, the Méta Matics thanks to which he is best known, to explore abstract expressionism through mechanical movements. His conceptual piece Homage to New York (1960) is designed to self-destruct in the New York MoMA’s garden in a sort of happening, a form of popular performance in the city at the time. Born on 22 May 1925 in Fribourg, Switzerland, the sculptor often uses found materials to criticise the consumer society. Largely self-taught, Tinguely assumes that «playing is art. So I play». He died on 30 August 1991 in Bern, Switzerland at the age of 66.