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.
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of recent and new work by Jeff Koons.
Making use of conceptual constructs including the ancient, the everyday, and the sublime, Koons creates luxurious icons and elaborate tableaux, which, beneath their captivating exteriors, engage the viewer in a metaphysical dialogue with cultural history.
Koons draws attention to the continuity of images as they pass through time. The Gazing Ball series is grounded in distinctive narratives and art-historical precedents—from ancient classical sculpture to Rubens and Manet. In each work, a blue mirrored, hand-blown glass gazing ball—a convention from eighteenth century garden design—reflects its surroundings, uniting painting, sculpture, and architecture in order to multiply sensory experience. Balanced on the shoulder of Hercules, or introducing a dose of the surreal to the suburban harmony of a row of mailboxes, each gazing ball reactivates and intensifies familiar scenes, whether from legend or the everyday.
The Celebration sculptures—as well as later works that expand upon their visual dialogue—made with mirror-polished stainless steel in layers of transparent color coating, epitomize Koons’s ongoing fascination with childlike consciousness and communication. Sacred Heart (Blue/Magenta) (1994–2007) magnifies the excitement of receiving a lavishly wrapped gift, and Balloon Rabbit (Magenta) (2005–10) transforms a balloon animal into a towering wonder of reflective curves. Mirror-polished voids swell to a giant scale, their converging twists and contours drawing the gaze into multiple vanishing points. The sculptures conflate the readymade and the monumental, transforming humble objects into abstract symbols of transcendence and the biological, reflecting and affirming viewers and their environments.
In Ballerinas (2010–14) from the Antiquity series, Koons depicts figurines of dancers, derived from decorative porcelain, at the imposing scale of classical sculpture. Their delicate details and subtle color gradations, rendered in luminous, transparent color, present—somewhat paradoxically—as lessons in immaterial abstraction.
Jeff Koons was born in 1955 in York, PA, and lives and works in New York. Collections include The Broad, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; Tate, London; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels; FRAC Aquitaine, Bordeaux; MADRE - Museo D'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, Naples; Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice; Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; and QAGOMA, Australia. Institutional exhibitions include Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (2004, traveled to Helsinki City Art Museum, through 2005); Lever House, New York (2005); “Jeff Koons on the Roof,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008); “Jeff Koons: Celebration,” Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2008); “Jeff Koons: Popeye Series,” Serpentine Galleries, London (2008); “Jeff Koons: Versailles,” Château de Versailles (2008–09); “ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons,” National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2011); “Jeff Koons: The Painter and The Sculptor,” Schirn Kunsthalle and Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt (2012); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2012); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014, traveled to Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Guggenheim Bilbao, through 2015); and “Jeff Koons in Florence,” Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, Florence (2015).