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?