The gesture that you end up making in the world happens through instinct and all these desires for procreation. The greatest beauty is the acceptance of nature and how things function.
Gagosian is pleased to present a series of recent paintings by Jeff Koons.
Koons’s new paintings are ambitious in their breadth. They engage in a dialogue with cultural history that is at once visual, intellectual, biological, and philosophical, as well as with art history, from the Venus of Willendorf to Gustave Courbet and Salvador Dali. At first glance the works may seem abstract and gestural, but at the same time they are embedded in the traditions of figurative painting. The brushstrokes, which are photorealistic in their application, are actually fake brushstrokes in the style of Roy Lichtenstein—but at the same time they support the totality of gesture and action in life itself. The visual quality of Cy Twombly’s work is a reference as is its embodiment of the existential issues of what it means to be an artist. The depth in these paintings is figurative depth; the painted dots create holograms, giving an illusion of depth of field that is similar to that which exists between the viewer’s plane and the figure in Courbet’s L’Origine du Monde. The dot overlay represents past technologies, like color television, to remind the viewer of change and mortality. Through his ongoing exploration of cultural history and sexuality, Koons draws attention to time past, present, and future.
From the outset of his controversial career, Koons turned the traditional notion of the work of art and its context inside out. Focusing on unexpected yet banal objects as models for his work, from vacuum cleaners and inflatable flowers to novelty drink caddies, china figurines, and children’s toys, he eschewed typical standards of “good taste” in art, instead embracing what he perceives as conventional middle-class values in order to expose the vulnerabilities of aesthetic hierarchies and value systems. Koons’s declared strategies are to make art beautiful, to strive for objectivity, to give back the familiar, and to reflect—and thus empower—the viewer. Addressing various conceptual constructs including the new, the banal and the heavenly, his work has evolved from its literal, deadpan beginnings into visceral manifestations that dazzle the eye and confound the senses.
Laws of Motion
Catalyzed by Laws of Motion—a group exhibition pairing artworks from the 1980s on by Jeff Koons, Cady Noland, Rosemarie Trockel, and Jeff Wall with contemporary sculptures by Josh Kline and Anicka Yi—Wyatt Allgeier discusses the convergences and divergences in these artists’ practices with an eye to the economic worlds from which they spring.
Gagosian Quarterly Fall 2019
The Fall 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Sinking (2019) by Nathaniel Mary Quinn on its cover.
Intimate Grandeur: Glenstone Museum
Paul Goldberger tracks the evolution of Mitchell and Emily Rales’s Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland. Set amid 230 acres of pristine landscape and housing a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art, this graceful complex of pavilions, designed by architects Thomas Phifer and Partners, opened to the public in the fall of 2018.
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
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.
The Bigger Picture
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.