On November 23, 2018, the famous Düsseldorf gallery owner Alfred Schmela would have celebrated his hundredth birthday. To mark this occasion, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is organizing an exhibition that shows the wide-ranging network of this “pioneer of the avant-garde.”

Méta Harmony

Music Machines and Machine Music in Jean Tinguely’s Oeuvre

At the center of the catalogue for the exhibition of the same name at the Museum Tinguely, Basel, curated by Annja Müller-Alsbach and Sandra Beate Reimann, stand the sound-producing machine sculptures of Jean Tinguely. Tinguely’s sculptures generate noises, sounds, and apparently random, self-performing music. This musical side then reached a climax with the four “Méta-Harmonie” music machines between 1978 and 1985.

The catalogue and exhibition address developments both in music, with works that deal with machines, and in which machines comprise the instruments and/or producers of sounds for pieces. The spectrum extends from the avant-garde until today.


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"Méta Harmony"

November 2016

ISBN 978-3-7356-0269-5

20 x 25 cm

192 Pages

124 colored illustrations

Hardcover, bound

Languages: German, English

Museum Tinguely, Basel
Text by
Sandra Beate Reimann, Annja Müller-Alsbach, Heidy Zimmermann
Exhibition: “Music machines / Machine music”, Oktober 19, 2016 – January 2017