Visiting the Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg / Freiburg

The Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg (Freiburg) in Switzerland is an art gallery or museum with working models designed by the local-born artist Jean Tinguely and some colorful works by his equally famous wife.

The Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle is a gallery set up in a former tram depot in the heart of Fribourg (Freiburg) with models and works designed by the two famous artists. The museum has around 10 sculptural machines by Jean Tinguely and several colorful works by his wife Niki de Saint Phalle. In addition to the main hall, frequently-changing temporary exhibitions are held in two smaller rooms.

Works by Jean Tinguely in Fribourg (Freiburg), Switzerland

Altar of Western abundance and totalitarian consumerism

Jean Tinguely (1925-1991) was born in Fribourg (Freiburg) at the dividing line between French and German-speaking Switzerland. Although he spent most of his life elsewhere, and his best works in Switzerland are in Basel, Fribourg does have a number of Tinguely designs on display.

The Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg has around ten large working models of kinetic art designed by Tinguely. He famously used metal and other scrap yard junk to build moving models. Visitors can step on the large red knobs to set the creaking and noisy metamechanic displays in motion.

The most important and by far the largest work in the collection is Tinguely’s Retable de l’abondance occidentale et du Mercantilisme totalitaire (Altar of Western abundance and totalitarian consumerism). He designed this huge work for a retrospective in Moscow in 1990 to show both the wealth of the western world but also its enslavement to consumerism.

The Jo Siffert Fountain (commonly referred to as the Fountaine de Jean Tinguely) near the station in Fribourg was designed by Tinguely. The fountain honors local Formula 1 racing driver Jo Siffert, who died in a crash in 1971.

Works by Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg (Freiburg), Switzerland

Swiss Cow by Niki de Saint PhalleNiki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002), who married Jean Tinguely in 1971, left most of the pieces on display in the museum to Fribourg.

Her main contribution to the museum is 22 reliefs of her Remembering collection. She created these colorfully painted polyester works in the late 1990s – they hang to great effect against a black wall. Several further pieces in her typically colorful style are placed elsewhere in the gallery.

Of particular note is an artistic collaboration between the two artists. It features a metal base by Tinguely with a golden serpent-swan designed by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Opening Hours and Tickets for the Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg

Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle Gallery in FribourgArt lovers in Fribourg seemingly wake up late as most museums here only open late morning. The Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm (closing at 8 pm on Thursday).

Admission to the Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg is CHF6 (CHF4 when no temporary exhibitions are held). Children under 16 may enter for free. The Swiss Museum Pass is valid.
"Remembering" in the Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle Gallery in FribourgThe Espace Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint Phalle in Fribourg is at 2, rue de Morat / Murtengasse 2, near the cathedral and Fribourg art and history museum.

It is a pleasant walk from the train station, mostly along pedestrian-only streets to the museum, or use bus 1, 2 or 6 to stop Tilleul.

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