Introduction

Winter Bears, 1988m Polychromed wood, 121.9 x 111.8 x 39.4 cmm, The Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann Collection © Jeff Koons
Balloon Dog (Red), 1994–2000, High chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 307.3 x 363.2 x 114.3 cm, European Private Collection © Jeff Koons
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988 Porcelain, 106.7 x 179.1 x 82.6 cm, The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica © Jeff Koons
Ushering in Banality, 1988, Polychromed wood, 96.5 x 157.5 x 76.2 cm, Private collection © Jeff Koons
Tulips, 1995–98, Oil on canvas, 282.7 x 331.9 cm, Private collection © Jeff Koons
New Hoover Convertible, 1980, Staubsauger, Acryl und Leuchtstoffröhren, 142,2 x 57,2 x 57,2 cm, Rubell Family Collection, Miami © Jeff Koons
Stacked, 1988, Polychromed wood, 154.9 x 134.6 x 78.7 cm, Private collection © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons 13.5. – 2.9.2012

The Fondation Beyeler is presenting the first exhibition ever devoted by a Swiss museum to the American artist Jeff Koons (b. 1955). Koons, likely the best-known living artist, has for decades been causing a furore with the combination of popular and high culture that informs his art.

Our extensive presentation focuses on three central series of works – The New, Banality and Celebration – which represent crucial stages in Koons’s development and lead to the nucleus of his thinking and creative activity. The New comprises the ready-made-like cleaning appliances of his early period, symbols of newness and purity. Banality includes those traditionally crafted sculptures in porcelain and wood which have since become (post-)modern icons. Finally, in the Celebration series, on which Koons has been working for almost twenty years, appear high-gloss steel sculptures of unique material perfection, and large-format paintings in which the artist celebrates childhood in a veritably baroque way. Koons’s equally spectacular and subtle works are repeatedly concerned with themes such as innocence, beauty, sexuality and happiness. These reflect his conception of an art that is accessible to every viewer.

Introduction

Theodora Vischer, curator of the exhibition, gives an introduction into the works of Jeff Koons.

Station