The Dada art movement was born in Zurich in 1916. Characterized by the use of found objects in works that blur the distinction between art and life, Dada celebrated chaos, or at least pointed to the chaos lurking beneath the veneer of civilization. In the 1950s, young artists under the spell of Marcel Duchamp, such as Jean Tinguely, extended Dada to make provocative, raucous, and compelling works of art. Narva was made at the moment Tinguely's career blossomed. An assemblage of the stuff of modern life, the work amuses with its impossible complications, like a giant clock gone awry.
the artist (from 1961; sold to Renard); Micheline and Claude Renard, Paris (until 2006; sale, Christie's, London, February 8, 2006, no. 44, for £198,400 to Mitchell–Innes and Nash); [Mitchell Innes and Nash, New York, 2006; sold to MMA]
Gallery Samlaren, Stockholm. "Le Nouveau Réalisme," 1961.
Seattle World's Fair. "Art Since 1950," April 21–October 21, 1962, unnumbered cat. (p. 153).
Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris. "Machines de Tinguely," May 12–July 5, 1971, unnumbered cat.
Kunsthalle Basel. "Tinguely," January 22–February 27, 1972, no. 22.
Moderna Musset, Stockholm. "Tinguely 1954–1972," October 7–December 3, 1972, no. 22.
Humlebæk. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. "Jean Tinguely," March–May 1973, no. 27.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. "Jean Tinguely," September 21–November 25, 1973, no. 28.
C. Bischofberger. Jean Tinguely, Catalogue Raisonné: Sculptures and Reliefs, 1954-1968. Vol. 1, Zurich, 1982, ill. p. 158, no. 214.
Pontus Hulten. Jean Tinguely, A Magic Stronger than Death. series 1, New York, 1987, pp. 42, 97, ill. pp. 104, 107.
Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2006–2007." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Fall 2007), p. 61, ill. (color).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, p. 429, ill. (color).