The Story Behind Jean Tinguely's 1960 Self-Destruct Sculpture at Museum of Modern Art

Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely presented a wooden sculpture at the MoMA back in 1960 that was, unbeknownst to the museum, designed to self-destruct by fire.

In March 1960 Jean Tinguely presented his first auto-destructive artwork Homage to New York in the sculpture garden at MoMA. The sculpture was engineered to slowly erupt into flames and disintegrate before the audience.

In this film from Tate, writer and art critic Dore Ashton talks about what it was like on the night when the sculpture unexpectedly caught fire as planned.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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