Jean Tinguely

05 Oct - 17 Nov 2012

Jean Tinguely
Relief «Probabilité N°14»
(Catalogue Raisonné n°1094)
serie : White relief
7 metal elements painted in white on wood panel painted in white, mecanical system including metal fitting, wooden pulleys, rubber bands electric motors
22 1/4 x 22 x 7 7/8 in.
© André Morin
Méta-Reliefs / Méta-Matics (1955-1961)
5 October - 17 November 2012

Jean Tinguely in Reliefs

Jean Tinguely in Reliefs: eleven masterpieces, some of them that have never been seen before, remind us of the profound originality of this sculptor, who has been dead for over 20 years. Jean Tinguely: a name that tintinnabulates, resonates and reflects the works presented. A name that reminds each of us of the fantastic handyman that created pieces which invite the viewer to look and listen. Jean Tinguely who mixed physique amusante with a sombre and sardonic reflection on the mechanical world during the industrial era. Jean Tinguely who invented, out of mischief and scorn, the Meta-Matic, a pataphysical sculpture from Modern Times.

The nine Meta-Reliefs and the two Meta-Matics sculptures in this exhibition were created between 1955 and 1961. These dates are both turning points in the artist’s career. 1955 is the year that the sculptor moved to Paris, not far from Brancusi’s studio in the Impasse Ronsin, and of the first exhibition of a sound relief in «Salon des Réalités Nouvelles», just before his first solo exhibition of «peintures cinétiques» at Galerie Denise René. 1961 is marked by the participation of Tinguely in the famous exhibitions «Le Mouvement dans l’art» at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and «Rörelse konsten i» at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Between these two dates, Tinguely’s work uses its strength and poetic quality to become a language; the text in the book which is being publicated for the exhibition, will try to analyse the possible parallels and echoes between this work of art and Ferdinand de Saussure’s researches.

The Swiss philologist was a great lover and observer of the tiniest detail in everyday life, and the inventor of an incredible work –that was not dissimilar to Tinguely’s, – which combined words and writings, the voice and the ear, the sign and meanings.

Bernard Blistène

Bernard Blistène is the director of Cultural Development at the Centre Pompidou


The exhibition Jean Tinguely, Méta-Reliefs / Méta-Matics (1955-1961) is the first exhibition devoted to the artist at the Gallery.
The official representation of Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle reinforces the gallery’s identity of mixing young artists and Nouveau Réalisme since its opening in 1990, and its exclusive representation of Jacques Villeglé since 1997.
During the Fiac 2012, we will present major pieces by these artists, surrounded by new creations by Gilles Barbier, Alain Bublex, Martin Kersels, Henrique Oliveira, Paul Kos, etc.
in 2013, the publication of Niki de Saint Phalle’s Biography by Catherine Francblin will be the opportunity to present a major solo exhibition of this artist at the gallery.

Tags: Gilles Barbier, Alain Bublex, Martin Kersels, Paul Kos, Henrique Oliveira, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Jacques Villeglé