Marseille • Pinault’s Koons at MUCEM
The exhibition covers 35 years of his carreer. Among the artworks: Balloon Dog, Lobster and the majestic Bluebird Planter
The exhibition of Jeff Koons at Mucem offers many interesting insights, starting from what concerns the choices made by curators and the museum itself, up to the strategic-economic aspects. The title “Jeff Koons Mucem. Works for the Pinault Collection” points out where the artworks come from and recalls the expansionist policy of many super brands from various fields, which found in the art system a useful tool for entering the mythological modern-day stardom.
François Pinault, president of the luxury giant Kering, has just opened a new space for his collection in Paris, La Bourse de Commerce, that is added to the ones in Venice, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, where it has been recently inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to Bruce Nauman. Koon, in the meanwhile, has left his baseline galleries, Gagosian and Zwirner, and moved to the Pace Gallery, joining historic figures like Rothko, Calder and De Kooning, just to name a few. The exhibition at Mucem – Museum of European and Meditertanean Civilization, completed in 2013 by the architect Rudy Ricciotti and awarded in 2015 as best European museum of the year – is built on the dialogue between the museum artworks and other 19 Koon’s works realized over 35 years of his career.
The American artist, together with the curators (Elena Geuna and Emile Girard), selected a set of more than 300 elements form the Mucem’s collection, traditional folk items, folk-art artworks, documents and pictures, which establish symbolic, formal, technical and historical-artistic links with his works, pushing the visitor to question this articulated model of connections.
The exhibition compares the artworks of the museum collection with the most significant Koon's works
To welcome the visitor there are seminal sculptures like New Hoover Convertible, New Shelton Wet/ Dry 10 Gallon Doubledecker (1981), Balloon Dog (1994-2000), Lobster (2007- 2012) and paintings like Backyard (2002), Dutch Couple (2007). Then the exhibition continues with the New Series pioneering works, passing through the iconic works of the Celebration series, up to the more recent ones included in the Gazing Ball and Antiquity series, for ending the journey with the majestic Bluebird Planter (2010 – 2016), which interacts with a vast selection of Mucem collection’s decorative and functional items inspired to birds. The curatorial concept creates a synergy between the promotion of this exhibition space and its collection and an exploratory/celebrative journey among the milestones the artist realized over his whole career, moving freely between different materials and techniques.
Jeff Koons Mucem Works from Pinault Collection
Curated by Elena Geuna, Emilie Girard