previews

  • Vladimir Tatlin, Zentrales Konterrelief mit Palette (Central Counter-Relief), 1915/1994, iron, aluminum, zinc, 31 x 60 x 30". Reconstructed by Martyn Chalk.

    “Vladimir Tatlin: New Art for a New World”

    Museum Tinguely
    Paul Sacher-Anlage 1 Postfach 3255
    June 6 - October 14

    Curated by Gian Casper Bott

    Lenin once made the striking observation that there were at least five distinct modes of production operating simultaneously but nonsynchronously in Russia when the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917. The same astonishing degree of overdetermination can be found in the production of avant-garde painter and sculptor Vladimir Tatlin, whose work, oscillating from materialogical servility to rationalist transparency, is deeply archaic and Futurist all at once. Organized around his anti-Suprematist counter-reliefs, the iconic 1920 Monument to the Third International, and the Leonardo-esque flying machine Letatlin, 1930, this exhibition of some hundred pieces presents each of the major stations in Tatlin’s career, staging them in, of all places, a museum dedicated to the work of Jean Tinguely, whose self-destructing apparatuses provide the perfect negative image of the Russian Constructivist’s Monument.

  • Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988, porcelain, 42 x 70 1/2 x 32 1/2".

    Jeff Koons

    Fondation Beyeler
    Baselstrasse 101
    May 13 - September 2

    Curated by Sam Keller and Theodora Vischer

    Though Jeff Koons is certainly no stranger to Basel, this summer the Fondation Beyeler offers Switzerland its very first—believe it or not—museum presentation of the art-world icon’s work. It’s possible that the shock value climaxes with this fact, however, as, within these tasteful precincts, no pieces from the fractious and fascinating “Made in Heaven” series—artist and porn-star paramour in flagrante delicto, immortalized in miscellaneous sculptures and bemusingly pimply photographs—will be offered for public view. But the ready- made vacuum cleaners (“The New,” 1980–87), hypertrophied figurines (“Banality,” 1988), and gargantuan polished-steel balloons (“Celebration,” 1994–) on which Sam Keller and Theodora Vischer will focus should provide essential coordinates, showcasing Koons’s abiding love of kitsch and his Willy Wonka–ish knack for creating fantastical confections with industrial production techniques. What could be more Swiss?