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Joyous Machines

Michael Landy and Jean Tinguely

written by Laurence Sillars

Tate Gallery | ISBN 9781854379191

Hardback – 144 pages


Member’s price: $40.50
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This book arises from the intriguing relationship between renowned British artist Michael Landy (b. 1963) and the late Jean Tinguely (1925–91), one of the most subversive artists of the twentieth century, best known for his playful and ironic kinetic sculptures. Michael Landy has drawn inspiration from Tinguely for some of his most significant works to date, including Break Down (2001), during which he destroyed all his personal possessions, from his birth certificate to his car, in a publicly staged performance. Landy is particularly haunted by Tinguely's work Homage to New York, a 27 foot high mechanical sculpture created for the Museum of Modern Art in 1960. Billed as ‘a machine that destroys itself’, the sculpture was designed to self-destruct but caught fire after 27 minutes and was extinguished before reaching its full suicidal potential. Laurence Sillars, who co-curated the exhibition with Michael Landy, discusses Tinguely’s oeuvre from the 1940s onwards and the impact it has had upon Landy’s art. A remarkable collaboration between two extraordinary artists, one living, one dead, this book is a unique testament to the way an artist’s work can continue to inspire new creativity down the years.

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