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Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

icon's retrospective at Renzo Piano's Foundation Beyeler...

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel
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The massively oversized sculptures are made of polyethylene or high chromium stainless steel, and are so real that you can barely resist the desire to poke them! Large-format oil paintings continue the hyper-realistic theme and had me gazing at them for hours; almost trying to catch them out...

Jeff Koons
Balloon Flower (Blue), 1995–2000
Installation im Berower Park der Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/ Basel
Hochlegierter rostfreier Chromstahl mit transparenter Farbglasur,
340 x 285 x 260 cm
Privatsammlung
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Mark Niedermann
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
22 x 30 cm

While in Basel, I spent a delightful afternoon at Foundation Beyeler. Designed by Renzo Piano to accommodate Ernst Beyeler’s art collection, it houses Monets and Rothkos, which were very exciting to see in the flesh, as well as temporary exhibitions. While I was there Jeff Koons was the star of the show.

I’ll be honest – I really didn’t know what to make of a lot of it. A whole room full of retro hoovers (apparently symbols of newness and purity), lots of kitch Disney-esque sculptures with a kinky twist, a golden and white Michael Jackson and Bubbles the monkey…

But the hyper-real Celebration series did strike a chord with me. The series started life as a small project for a calendar and has grown into an almost 20-year undertaking.

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Tulips, 1995–2004
Hochlegierter rostfreier Chromstahl mit transparenter Farbglasur,
203,2 x 457,2 x 520,7 cm Prada Collection, Mailand
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Serge Hasenböhler
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
25 x 18 cm

The massively oversized sculptures are made of polyethylene or high chromium stainless steel, and are so real that you can barely resist the desire to poke them! Large-format oil paintings continue the hyper-realistic theme and had me gazing at them for hours; almost trying to catch them out.

Balloon Dog (Red) was one of my favourite pieces. It looked like it might float away, and yet in reality, it is rock-hard and weighs several tons. I don’t usually like things that pretend to be something they’re not, but this is done is such a knowing way that it intrigues and entertains. Inspired by Koons’ own childhood, they have a childlike playfulness that is absolutely irresistible.

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Stacked, 1988
Gefasstes Holz, 154,9 x 134,6 x 78,7 cm
Privatsammlung
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Jeff Koons Studio, New York / Jim Strong
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
23 x 30 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Hanging Heart (Gold/Magenta), 1994–2006
Hochlegierter rostfreier Chromstahl mit transparenter Farbglasur, 291 x 280 x 101,5 cm
Besitz des Künstlers
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Serge Hasenböhler
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
22 x 30 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Pink Panther, 1988
Porzellan, 104,1 x 52,1 x 48,3 cm
Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut
© Jeff Koons
Foto: © Taschen GmbH, Köln / Schaub/Höffner, Köln
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
23 x 30 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Balloon Dog (Red), 1994–2000
Hochlegierter rostfreier Chromstahl mit transparenter Farbglasur, 307,3 x 363,2 x 114,3 cm
Privatsammlung, Europa
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Jeff Koons Studio, New York
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
20 x 25 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Bear and Policeman, 1988
Gefasstes Holz, 215,9 x 109,2 x 94 cm
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Jeff Koons Studio, New York
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
23 x 30 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

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
Foto: Jeff Koons Studio, New York / Douglas M. Parker Studio, Los Angeles
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
24 x 30 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988
Porzellan, 106,7 x 179,1 x
82,6 cm
The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Jeff Koons Studio, New York / Douglas M. Parker Studio, Los Angeles
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
30 x 21 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Play-Doh, 1995–2007
Öl auf Leinwand, 333,4 x 282,5 cm
Besitz des Künstlers
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Jeff Koons Studio, New York
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
25 x 30 cm

Design Geekery; Jeff Koons in Basel

Jeff Koons
Split-Rocker, 2000
Im Berower Park der Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, 2012,
unterstütztvon JTI sowie Simone und Peter Forcart-Staehelin, InCentive Asset Management AG
Rostfreier Chromstahl, Blumenerde, Geotextil, Selbstbewässerungssystem und blühende Pflanzen,
1120,1 x 1181,1 x 1082 cm
Besitz des Künstlers
© Jeff Koons
Foto: Jean-Jacques Nobs / LAC AG
Druckbare Bildgrösse ca.:
18 x 25 cm

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