homage to new york
JEAN TINGUELY’S “Homage to New York” was billed as the ultimate homemade gadget — a towering contraption composed of found junk, dismembered bicycles, dismantled musical instruments, glass bottles, a meteorological balloon and electric motors in questionable condition. It was slated to come to life and spectacularly self-destruct in a one-night-only performance for some 250 patrons and reporters in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art on March 17, 1960. And self-destruct it did, but not quite according to plan.Mr. Tinguely’s self-destructive sculpture had failed — and thereby, in a sense, succeeded. Mr. Tinguely, a Swiss artist who died in 1991, was by 1960 well known for such Dada-inflected works; he posed with the wreckage after the performance and took a bow.