Koons Show to Consume Whitney
Jeff Koons is widely regarded as one of the most controversial artists of the postwar era.
Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network home his artworks in their independent collections.
Throughout his career, he has pioneered new approaches to the readymade, tested the boundaries between art and mass culture and challenged the limits of industrial fabrication. He has also transformed the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market.
Despite these achievements, Koons has never been the subject of a major US retrospective surveying the full scope of his career... until later this year.
Comprising 120 objects dating from 1979 to the present, the Whitney Museum exhibition will present the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the artist’s work.
By displaying many of his most best known works and significant series in a chronological narrative, the retrospective will allow visitors to evaluate Koons’s diverse output as a multifaceted artist.
Fills Entire Museum
This exhibition will be the artist’s first major museum presentation in New York, and the first to fill nearly the entire Marcel Breuer building with a single artist’s work.
It will also be the final exhibition to take place there before the Museum opens its new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015.
Organized by curator and Associate Director of Programs Scott Rothkopf, the exhibition surveys more than three decades of Koons’s art and includes approximately 120 works across a variety of mediums.
On view from June 27 through October 19, 2014, this landmark retrospective will be the Whitney’s grand finale in its uptown Breuer building before the Museum opens its new facility downtown in spring 2015.
Jeff Koons: A Retrospective will travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris from November 26, 2014 to April 27, 2015, and following its presentation in Paris to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in summer 2015.
As the first complete chronological narrative of Koons’s art in more than two decades, this exhibition will situate each of these sculptures within the context of the diverse series in which they originated, while also revealing the trajectory of these bodies of work across the arc of Koons’s career.
In addition, the Whitney will premiere several new pieces by Koons, including the monumental Play-Doh, which the artist has been working on for more than twenty years.
Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director notes: “Jeff Koons is one of the most significant artists of our era, and this retrospective will allow us for the first time to take the full measure of his art. Never before have so many of his works been on view together, nor has the Whitney ever devoted so much space to a single artist. We felt it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the closing of our uptown building with an exhibition of great scholarly rigor that also promises to be a major international cultural event.”
Rothkopf remarks: “Koons is widely known as the maker of a handful of iconic objects, but this retrospective will for the first time demonstrate how they fit together as part of a compelling and multifaceted story that will surprise even those familiar with his work."
The Museum will devote its lobby, second, third, and fourth floors, as well as its outdoor sculpture court (approximately 27,000 square feet) to the exhibition, displaying a range of pieces from each stage of the artist’s career and representing the following series: Inflatables (1979), Pre-New (1979–80), The New(1980–87), Equilibrium (1985), Luxury & Degradation (1986), Statuary (1986), Banality (1988), Made in Heaven (1989–91), Easyfun (1999–2003), Celebration (1994–2007), Popeye (2003), Hulk Elvis (2004–2007), Antiquity (2009–2012), and Gazing Ball (2013).
Since 2000, Koons’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at museums including the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (2003); the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo, 2004); the Helsinki City Art Museum (2005); the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, 2008 and 2009); the Château de Versailles (France, 2008–09); the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 2008); the Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin, 2008); the Serpentine Gallery (London, 2009); and the Beyeler Foundation (Riehen, Switzerland, 2012). In 2012, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt mounted concurrent shows of his paintings and sculptures, respectively.
He was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of the Arts in London in 2010, an Officier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French government in 2010 and Hillary Clinton presented him with the U.S. State Department’s Medal of Arts in 2012.