THE LOOKOUT_ A JEFF KOONS RETROSPECTIVE

Jeff Koons is widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of the postwar era. Throughout his career, he has pioneered new approaches to the readymade, tested the boundaries between advanced art and mass culture, challenged the limits of industrial fabrication, and transformed the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market.

Some love him some hate him – for sure it’s hard to ignore this artist. He is a story of his own. From his vacuum cleaners sealed in plexi cases to the monumental balloon dog sculptures, Koons has next to his artistic work always displayed a great deal of brillant showmanship that is probably unrivaled in the history of American art.

Yet despite his versatile talent and all achievements, Koons has never been the subject of a retrospective surveying the full scope of his career. Comprising more than 120 objects dating from 1978 to the present, the Whitney Museum’s upcoming show will be the most comprehensive ever devoted to the artist’s oeuvre.

By reconstituting all of his most iconic works and significant series in a chronological narrative, the retrospective allows visitors to understand Koons’s remarkably diverse output as a multifaceted whole.

This exhibition will be the artist’s first major museum presentation in New York, and the first to fill nearly the entirety of the Whitney’s 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.

So the Whitney intends to leave New York’s Upper East Side with a big bang managing to stage a show that other New York Museums have tried but finally failed to bring about: At the Guggenheim Museum a project was on the way as early as 1996 with a Koons exhibition scheduled and rescheduled several times. Challenges are the high cost of fabrication involved and technical difficulties because of the size and materials used by the artist.

Jeff Koons
A Retrospective
Whitney Museum of American Art
New York
27 June – 19 October 2014
www.whitney.org



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