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Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Titian Pastoral Concert), 2016 Oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum, 60 × 74 × 14 ¾ inches (152.4 × 188 × 37.5 cm)© Jeff Koons, photo by Fredrik Nilsen

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Titian Pastoral Concert), 2016

Oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum, 60 × 74 × 14 ¾ inches (152.4 × 188 × 37.5 cm)
© Jeff Koons, photo by Fredrik Nilsen

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Manet Luncheon on the Grass), 2014–15 Oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum, 63 × 81 ¼ × 14 ¾ inches (160 × 206.4 × 37.5 cm)© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (Manet Luncheon on the Grass), 2014–15

Oil on canvas, glass, and aluminum, 63 × 81 ¼ × 14 ¾ inches (160 × 206.4 × 37.5 cm)
© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Antiquity (Farnese Bull), 2009–12 Oil on canvas, 108 × 84 inches (274.3 × 213.4 cm)© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Antiquity (Farnese Bull), 2009–12

Oil on canvas, 108 × 84 inches (274.3 × 213.4 cm)
© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Antiquity 3, 2009–11 Oil on canvas, 102 × 138 inches (259.1 × 350.5 cm)© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Antiquity 3, 2009–11

Oil on canvas, 102 × 138 inches (259.1 × 350.5 cm)
© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Metallic Venus, 2010–12 Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating and live flowering plants, 100 × 52 × 40 inches (254 × 132.1 × 101.6 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Metallic Venus, 2010–12

Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating and live flowering plants, 100 × 52 × 40 inches (254 × 132.1 × 101.6 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Gorilla, 2006–12 Black granite, 96 × 76 × 36 inches (243.8 × 193 × 91.4 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP© Jeff Koons, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Jeff Koons, Gorilla, 2006–12

Black granite, 96 × 76 × 36 inches (243.8 × 193 × 91.4 cm), edition of 3 + 1 AP
© Jeff Koons, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Jeff Koons Coloring Book, 1997–2005 Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating 222 × 131 1/2 × 9 1/8 inches (563.9 × 334 × 23.2 cm) 1 of 5 unique versions Installation at the Royal Academy, London © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Coloring Book, 1997–2005

Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating 222 × 131 1/2 × 9 1/8 inches (563.9 × 334 × 23.2 cm) 1 of 5 unique versions Installation at the Royal Academy, London © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Bluepoles, 2000 Oil on canvas, 120 × 168 inches (304.8 × 426.7 cm)© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Bluepoles, 2000

Oil on canvas, 120 × 168 inches (304.8 × 426.7 cm)
© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Split-Rocker, 2000 Stainless steel, geotextile fabric, internal irrigation system, live flowering plants 446 7/8 × 483 1/8 × 427 5/8 inches (1,135.1 × 1,227.1 × 1,086.2 cm) Installation at Rockefeller Center®, New York © Jeff Koons, photo by Tom Powel

Jeff Koons Split-Rocker, 2000

Stainless steel, geotextile fabric, internal irrigation system, live flowering plants 446 7/8 × 483 1/8 × 427 5/8 inches (1,135.1 × 1,227.1 × 1,086.2 cm) Installation at Rockefeller Center®, New York © Jeff Koons, photo by Tom Powel

Jeff Koons Balloon Flower (Orange), 1995–2000 Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating 133 3/4 × 112 1/4 × 102 1/4 inches (340 × 285 × 260 cm) 1 of 5 unique versions © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Balloon Flower (Orange), 1995–2000

Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating 133 3/4 × 112 1/4 × 102 1/4 inches (340 × 285 × 260 cm) 1 of 5 unique versions © Jeff Koons

About

I like to think that when you leave the room, the art leaves the room. Art is about your own possibilities as a human being. It’s about your own excitement, your own potential, and what you can become. It affirms your existence.
—Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as part of a generation of artists exploring the meaning of art and spectacle in a media-saturated era. With his stated artistic intention to “communicate with the masses,” Koons makes use of conceptual constructs—including the ancient, the everyday, and the sublime—creating luxurious icons and elaborate tableaux, which, beneath their captivating exteriors, engage the viewer in a metaphysical dialogue with cultural history.

Born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955, Koons studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and, receiving a BFA from the latter in 1976. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, his work has evolved from small-scale assemblages of toys and found objects to his now iconic monumental works, including huge balloon animals rendered in mirror-polished stainless steel, as well as flowering topiary sculptures, such as Puppy (1992), which is permanently installed at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Koons draws attention to the continuity of images as they pass through time, combining art historical reference with vernacular images and objects, from common suburban products and mass media to symbols of sexuality and transcendence. Beginning with Inflatables (1978–79), a series inspired by the readymade, Koons created six series of innovative works in less than a decade including Pre-New (1979–80), The New (1980–87), Equilibrium (1983–93), Luxury & Degradation (1986), and Statuary (1986). His interest in popular culture expanded in the Banality series (1988), which included sculptures of recognizable figures such as Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988)—a nearly life-size gold-leaf porcelain statue of the pop singer with his pet chimpanzee. In 1989, Koons presented Made in Heaven (1989–91), a series centered on him and his then-wife in sexually explicit poses, frequently in fairytale settings, evoking the stark bodily presence of the nudes depicted by French Realist painters.

During the mid-1990s, Koons expanded his Pop sensibility through the Celebration series (1994–): hyperrealistic, brightly colored paintings and large-scale sculptures depicting vernacular images and forms such as plastic figurines, Play-Doh, and jewelry. Conflating the readymade and the monumental, these works attest to Koons’s ongoing fascination with childlike consciousness and communication; transforming humble objects into abstract symbols of transcendence and the biological. In 2000, seven new works by Koons debuted at the Deutsche Guggenheim: the Easyfun-Ethereal paintings. Derived from the optimistic, colorful Easyfun series (1999–2000), these layered, collage-like tableaux depict cut-out photographs of packaged foods, paradisiacal landscapes, and fragments of women’s faces, limbs, hair, clothing, and accessories. Attesting to Koons’s interest in the simple pleasures of visual culture, Easyfun-Ethereal would eventually be expanded to twenty-four paintings, presenting uncanny, imaginative panoramas.

Koons’s dialogue with the readymade and American pop culture continued in his Popeye (2002–13) and Hulk Elvis series (2004–), which incorporate large-scale inflatable characters, either alone or combined with other objects and images, creating playful, often discordant relationships. Starting in 2008, the Antiquity series highlights Koons interest in metaphysics, a line of inquiry that was central to the making of the Equilibrium works and that continues to evolve in his latest works in production.

Among Koons’s recent works is the Gazing Ball series (2012–), in which he makes direct reference to canonical works art. In each piece, a blue mirrored, hand-blown glass gazing ball reflects its surroundings, uniting painting, sculpture, and architecture in order to multiply sensory experience. Like much of his work, the Gazing Ball series reactivates and intensifies familiar scenes, whether from legend or the everyday, reflecting and affirming viewers and their environments.

Jeff Koons

Photo: Sabastian Kim/August Image, LLC

Website

jeffkoons.com

Still from video Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

Jeff Koons: Easyfun-Ethereal

Jeff Koons: Easyfun-Ethereal

Learn more about Jeff Koons’s Easyfun-Ethereal series in this video featuring Rebecca Sternthal, one of the organizers behind the most recent exhibition of these works in New York.

Rx Art

The Bigger Picture
Rx Art

Derek Blasberg speaks with Diane Brown, president and founder of RxArt, and with contributing artists Dan Colen, Urs Fischer, and Jeff Koons about the transformative power of visual art.

Jeff Koons

The Bigger Picture
Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons speaks with Alison McDonald and Maura Harty about his longstanding commitment to protecting the rights of children.

Jeff Koons Glenn Fuhrman

In Conversation
Jeff Koons Glenn Fuhrman

The FLAG Art Foundation hosted a conversation between Jeff Koons and FLAG founder Glenn Fuhrman, in which the two discuss the dichotomy between sexuality and childhood innocence in Koons’s oeuvre, remaking Made in Heaven with Lady Gaga, what drives Koons to make more work, and several works including Cat on a Clothesline (1994–2001) and Winter Bears (1988).

The Last 36 Hours

The Last 36 Hours

Derek Blasberg speaks with Scott Rothkopf, a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, about the last thirty-six hours of the Jeff Koons retrospective, which also marked the end of the museum’s tenure in uptown Manhattan.

Split-Rocker: A Landscaping Perspective

Split-Rocker: A Landscaping Perspective

Jeff Koons’s flowering sculpture Split-Rocker, at once imposing and adorable, has cast a spell on New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Derek Blasberg interviews Matt Donham, Koons’s landscape designer on the project, to find out more.

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

Jeff Koons’s first, mammoth one-man show opens at the Whitney today, which is also the last show at the museum’s Madison Avenue location.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons

Art Fair

Art Basel

June 13–16, 2019, booth C9
Messe Basel
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel, presenting works by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Ellen Gallagher, Alberto Giacometti, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Albert Oehlen, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at artbasel.com.

Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons. Photo: David Fisher

In Conversation

Jeff Koons
Martin Kemp

Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 6–7:15pm
Sheldonian Theatre, University of Oxford, England
www.torch.ox.ac.uk

Jeff Koons will speak with Martin Kemp, emeritus professor of art history at the University of Oxford, England, about the inspiration behind the artist’s bold and provocative works, and what role they play in the world of contemporary art more broadly.

Jeff Koons. Photo: David Fisher

Theaster Gates, Bono, and David Adjaye. Photo: Rankin

Auction

(RED) Auction

Live auction: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Online auction: November 12–December 7, 2018
Exhibition: December 1–7, 2018
Moore Building, Miami

Gagosian is pleased to announce the third (RED) Auction to support the fight against AIDS, organized in partnership with (RED) and Sotheby’s.

Bono, the driving force behind (RED), invited artist Theaster Gates and architect Sir David Adjaye to cocurate a selection of contemporary art and design that will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on December 5, 2018, during Art Basel in Miami Beach and Design Miami/ 2018. Gagosian will present a preview exhibition of the works at the famed Moore Building in Miami, which will open on World AIDS Day, December 1.

Artists donating works include Ai Weiwei, Christo, Rachel Feinstein, Teresita Fernández, Frank Gehry, Jennifer Guidi, Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson, Jeff Koons, Guillermo Kuitca, Marilyn Minter, Wangechi Mutu, Jenny Saville, and Sean Scully; Adjaye and Gates will also contribute unique pieces.

Proceeds from this year’s auction will support community-based programs in Africa through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, while also providing assistance to fight HIV through community-strengthening programs in Chicago with Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation. For additional information, please contact Lidia Andich at redauction@gagosian.com.

View the auction catalogue (PDF)

Theaster Gates, Bono, and David Adjaye. Photo: Rankin

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Museum Exhibitions

Jeff Koons, New Shop-Vac Wet/Dry, 1980 © Jeff Koons

On View

Elephant in the Room
Sculptures of the Marx Collection and the Collection of the Nationalgalerie

Through September 8, 2019
Hamburger Bahnhof–Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
www.smb.museum

Elephant in the Room—Sculptures of the Marx Collection and the Collection of the Nationalgalerie explores the relationship between artwork and spatiality. The titular “elephant in the room” is those forces and sizes that, although not part of the sculptures, have a decisive influence on their presence in space and are thus an integral part of the expanded concept of art of the 1960s. Work by Jeff Koons and Rachel Whiteread is included.

Jeff Koons, New Shop-Vac Wet/Dry, 1980 © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Grotto, 2000 © Jeff Koons

On View

Apariencia desnuda
El deseo y el objeto en la obra de Marcel Duchamp y Jeff Koons, aun

Through September 29, 2019
Museo Jumex, Mexico City
www.fundacionjumex.org

Curated by Massimiliano Gioni, this exhibition, whose title translates to Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the Object in the Work of Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons, Even, explores the work of both Marcel Duchamp and Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons, Grotto, 2000 © Jeff Koons

On View

Jeff Koons in
The Dog: A Celebration at Chatsworth

Through October 6, 2019
Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England
www.chatsworth.org

This exhibition explores the Cavendish family’s enduring love for dogs, through paintings, drawings, sculpture, letters, and photographs of the animal. Ranging from historic to present-day pieces, specially selected loans from public and private collections are presented alongside items from the Devonshire Collection. Work by Jeff Koons is included.

Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada

On View

Atlas

Opened April 20, 2018
Fondazione Prada, Milan
www.fondazioneprada.org

The group of exhibited artworks, realized between 1960 and 2016, represents a possible mapping of the ideas and visions that have guided the creation of the collection and the collaborations with the artists  that have contributed to the activities of the foundation throughout the years. Work by Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Damien Hirst, Carsten Höller, and Jeff Koons is included.

Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada

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Press

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