Hulk Elvis represents for me both Western and Eastern culture, a sense of a guardian, a protector, that at the same time is capable of bringing the house down.
Gagosian Hong Kong is pleased to present Hulk Elvis, Jeff Koons’s first major solo exhibition in Asia.
With sources as diverse as children’s art, comic-book characters, and figures from classical antiquity, Koons draws a common thread through cultural history with works that attempt to touch the core of the human psyche. Working through conceptual constructs including the new, the banal, and the sublime, his art has evolved from its literal, staid beginnings in readymades to baroque creations that extol innocence, beauty, sexuality, and happiness in confounding combinations of abstraction, figuration, and sumptuous effect.
Works from the ongoing series Hulk Elvis range from precision-machined bronze sculptures—inspired by an inflatable of the popular comic-book hero and extruded in three dimensions—to large-scale paintings that dazzle with energy and exactitude yet mystify with complex permutations and combinations of figurative and abstract elements. The sculptures, whose polychromed surfaces mimic the gloss of vinyl inflatables, pair the Hulk superhero with incongruous props: a wheelbarrow filled with live flowers, a crew of inflatable toy animals, a precise replica of the Liberty Bell. In Hulk (Organ) (2004–14), keys, pipes, and a pedalboard jut out from the figure’s torso, legs, and shoulders; as the title suggests, the sculpture doubles as a fully functioning instrument. For Koons, the character represents not only Western comic-book culture, but Eastern guardian gods as well: “They’re there as protectors, but at the same time they can become very, very violent. . . . The Hulks are like that—they’re really high-testosterone symbols.”
In Hulk Elvis paintings, a charged mix of nudes and inflatable animals jostles against realistically rendered landscapes, magnified gestural brushwork, and underlying dot screens. Titles—such as Landscape (Waterfall II) (2007) and Couple (Dots) Landscape (2009)—string together dominant compositional elements. The exuberance of image and texture is rendered, paradoxically, with an uncanny level of precision into a wealth of smooth, vivid detail, and images are manipulated and interwoven into volatile palimpsests of color and form. In these spectacular pictorial inventions—which reject any attempt by the eye to find a resting place—silhouettes slice through multiple layers, contours of images surface rhythmically across the field of vision, and forms loom and recede in the swirling fervor of color and line.
香港高古軒畫廊欣然呈獻傑夫‧昆斯(Jeff Koons)首個亞洲大型個人作品展「Hulk Elvis」。
《Hulk Elvis》是一個持續創作中的系列，其中作品包括精密機械加工的立體青銅雕塑，靈感源自流行漫畫英雄的充氣玩具，亦有多幅構圖精準、活力澎湃的大型畫作令人目眩，通過對充滿象徵意義及抽象的元素進行巧妙排列、組合，展現耐人尋味的吸引力。昆斯的彩色雕塑模仿表面帶有光澤的塑膠充氣玩具，他將超級英雄浩克(Hulk)與格格不入的物件並置，包括滿載鮮花的單輪手推車、各種充氣動物玩具，以及美國自由鐘的一比一仿製品。於《浩克(管風琴)》 (Hulk (Organ)) (2004–14年)中，浩克的身軀、雙腿及肩膀伸出鍵盤、音管及腳踏，如作品題目所示，成為了一件能演奏的樂器。昆斯認為，浩克不只代表西方的漫畫文化，也是東方的守護神。「他們是保護人，但同時也可以變得非常暴戾……浩克就是這樣，象征了男性的強悍。」
於《Hulk Elvis》系列的畫作中，昆斯以逼真的風景、誇張的筆觸及點狀網作背景，前景擠滿裸體人物及充氣動物玩具，而《風景(瀑布 II)》(Landscape (Waterfall II)) (2007年)及《愛侶(點畫)風景》 (Couple (Dots) Landscape) (2009年)則將主要元素共冶一爐。他以難以想像的精準筆觸，繪畫出大量流暢生動的細節，並將圖像篡改重疊，形成紛亂的色彩及形態，展現豐富的畫面及層次。於精彩的創意畫作中，畫中物件穿越多個層次，圖像的輪廓間歇浮現，形態於色彩與線條之間若隱若現，令人目不暇接。
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.
The Bigger Picture
Jeff Koons speaks with Alison McDonald and Maura Harty about his longstanding commitment to protecting the rights of children.
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
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
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.
May 30–August 24, 2018
976 Madison Avenue, New York
March 10–April 21, 2018
West 24th Street, New York
Extended through August 18, 2017
April 27–August 18, 2017
Gazing Ball Paintings
November 9–December 23, 2015
West 21st Street, New York