Jean Tinguely's "Luminator" at EuroAirport

On the 20th anniversary of Jean Tinguely's death, EuroAirport has great pleasure in welcoming "Luminator" from the Museum Tinguely; the huge lamp sculpture will be on display to the general public from 4th September 2011 for a period of three years.

Mounted on a plinth on the 5th floor of the Airport building in Hall 4, this great illuminated sculpture is 24 metres long and weighs nearly 5 tonnes. Created by Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), one of the most original Swiss artists of the 20th century, "Luminator" was first exhibited at the Basel Fair Hall in June 1991. It was then purchased by the Swiss Bank Association (later to become UBS).

After the death of the artist on 30th August 1991, the illuminated sculpture was installed in the Basel railway station ticket hall as Tinguely had wished while he was alive; it remained on show there for seven years. In 1999, "Luminator" was exhibited at the railway station in Leipzig. In 2005, the UBS Bank donated it to the Museum Tinguely.

Designed by Tinguely to be admired by the public at large, "Luminator" is back again thanks to EuroAirport, this time on French soil in the Swiss sector of the bi-national airport serving three countries.

The decision to install this great illuminated sculpture at EuroAirport was motivated by several factors:

  • EuroAirport is a public place frequented by over 4 million passengers every year.
  • Tinguely had links with France: he lived in Paris and exhibited several times there. So, installing the last work of this Swiss artist in the Airport is fits well with the bi-national status of EuroAirport.
  • EuroAirport is a gateway allowing the discovery of the cultural treasures of the region, including the Museum Tinguely in Basel.
  • Art brings people together, transcending borders; this fits well with the primary purpose of EuroAirport, which is to enable travellers from several different countries to meet and cross paths every day.