Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"In the mid-80s I was very impressed by Michael Jackson. He was very ambitious so I was impressed by that and curious about his self-transformation and how he would play with images such as himself against Bubbles. There is a sense of radicality, in that he was not going to wait for time, he wasn't going to wait for evolution: a sense of transformation, a sense of transcendence. He was too ambitious, to me. But the way I work, I don't really sit down and think about things in a very analytical way. I trust my intuition and I follow my interests, and I always find that when you focus on those interests, things become very metaphysical. So this is how I would conceive of a work in an intuitive way, and the narrative would develop around it when I would realize that I was presenting Michael Jackson as a Christ-like figure. The sculpture parallels the 'Pieta,' it has a classical, Renaissance, triangular composition." Jeff Koons, excerpted from Jeff Koons: Versailles, Editions Xavier Barral.
Published by DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art. Edited by Karen Marta, Massimiliano Gioni. Text by Massimiliano Gioni with Natalie Bell.
Jeff Koons (born 1955) became prominent in the mid 1980s by targeting the meaning of art and spectacle in a media-saturated era. Since his first solo exhibition which consisted of small-scale assemblages of toys and found objects, his later works evolved into the now iconic monumental pieces which can be found permanently installed at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. His methodical inquiry into the ways in which everyday items become works of art by reflecting our desires draws attention to the continuity of images as they pass through time, combining art historical references with colloquial imagery. This monograph, part of the 2000 Words series published by DESTE, features an essay by Massimiliano Gioni and Natalie Bell, which examines Koons’ parallels to Duchamp and the function of readymades over the course of his career. Koons has created a prophecy fueled by the ecstasy of materialism, where the image or object becomes its own ouroboros—consuming itself.
Published by Other Criteria Books. Foreword by Hugh Allan. Text by Michael Archer.
This fully illustrated catalogue is published on the occasion of Now, a solo show of work by Jeff Koons (born 1955) presented at Damien Hirst’s new London exhibition space, Newport Street Gallery, which exhibits art from Hirst’s collection. Now spans the duration of Koons’ career to date, and features sculpture and painting from some of his most important series, including Inflatables, The New, Equilibrium and Made in Heaven, which investigate themes pertaining to mass culture, commerce, advertising, taste, pleasure and banality. This publication also includes an essay by art critic Michael Archer and a foreword by Newport Street Gallery’s Senior Curator, Hugh Allan.
Published by David Zwirner Books. Text by Francesco Bonami.
This volume documents Jeff Koons' (born 1955) major 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner, in which he debuted his Gazing Ball series. The title originates from the mirrored ornaments frequently found on lawns in residential neighborhoods, including around Koons' childhood home in Pennsylvania. In these works, blue gazing balls, hand blown from glass, have been placed on white plaster sculptures depicting signature examples of antique statues from the Greco-Roman era, including the Farnese Hercules and the Esquiline Venus, along with everyday utilitarian objects encountered in today's suburban landscape, such as rustic mailboxes, a birdbath and an inflatable snowman typically seen outside during Christmas. As Francesco Bonami notes in his catalogue essay, "while all of the sculptures are grounded in their own distinct narratives, derived from art history and suburban towns, the seemingly fragile and delicate gazing ball establishes that sense of uncertain equilibrium that exists between history and fantasy, magic and materiality, mass culture and exclusive beauty." Created in close collaboration with Koons, this elegant publication, which echoes the classic design of a 1970 Picasso catalogue admired by the artist, is the first to survey these works. Exquisitely produced color plates capture the stark contrast between the pristine whiteness of the plaster sculptures and the highly reflective spheres.
Published by DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art.
This volume offers a fascinating inside look at the controversial Skin Fruit exhibition, curated by Jeff Koons from the Dakis Joannou Collection in 2010. The photographs in this book, composed by Koons himself as he installed the show capture a sequence of startling encounters: disparate artworks in eloquent communication with one another, just as they live in the collection. Guiding the reader through the exhibition room by room, alongside a pensive and candid commentary by Koons, Skin Fruit: A View of a Collection offers a rare opportunity to delve inside the artist’s private thoughts on collecting, curating and the nature of art. “I enjoyed installing the exhibition, letting the works have the opportunity to interact with each other because that’s what happens in a collection,” says Koons. “It’s a salon-type experience. There is no hierarchy of worth or value. There is just interaction and communication.”
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Vinzenz Brinkmann, Isabelle Graw, Joachim Pissarro, Matthias Ulrich, Scott Rothkopf, et al.
Jeff Koons (born 1955) is probably the most famous artist of the 1980s, and certainly one of the most notorious and controversial. In the summer of 2012, the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung and the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt are collaborating on a bold and unprecedented simultaneous overview of Koons’ sculptural and painterly oeuvre. The Liebieghaus show, titled Jeff Koons: The Sculptor, creates a dialogue between Koons’ sculptures (both world-renowned and recent works) and the nineteenth-century villa whose collection spans 5,000 years of sculpture, from Ancient Egypt to the present. The artist fell in love with the Liebieghaus after visiting the city on his way to the German company Arnold, which produced his oversize works in polished steel, such as the Balloon Flower sculptures of the 1990s. The Schirn’s exhibit, Jeff Koons: The Painter, focuses on the artist’s monumental paintings, whose motifs draw upon the most varied sources of high and popular culture, from Manet to Popeye. In recent years, following the success of his flower and balloon dogs, Koons has revisited his painting practice, declaring, “I like the sense of warmth that comes from an actual painting and that’s why I returned to making paintings.” Boasting 270 color reproductions from the breadth of the artist's 30-year career, this publication is comprised of two volumes--one devoted to the sculptures, the other to the paintings--that together constitute a marvelous and ambitious Koons overview.
Jeff Koons (born 1955) has remained constantly in the public eye since he first showed his Equilibrium works--basketballs floating in tanks of water, framed Nike ads and a cast bronze lifeboat--at the influential East Village gallery International with Monument in 1985. Since that time, he has continued to scandalize the art world with such unforgettable works as “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” (1988), a series of life-size, gold-plated porcelain sculptures of the pop star and his pet chimpanzee; “Puppy,” (1992), a 43-foot-tall topiary sculpture of a West Highland terrier; and “Balloon Flower (Magenta)” (1995–2000), which broke all contemporary art auction records when it sold in 2008 for more than $25,000,000. This volume, published on the occasion of Koons’ summer 2012 show at the esteemed Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, examines three of Koons’ most influential bodies of work in depth: The New (1980–87), featuring the vacuum cleaner works in Plexiglas cases; Banality (1988), featuring such iconic painted ceramic and wooden sculptural works as “Michael Jackson and Bubbles,” “Winter Bears” and “Woman in Tub”; and Celebration (ongoing since 1994), the legendary series of sculptures and paintings which includes the stainless steel “Balloon Dog” sculptures. Taken together, these three series represents the most spectacular and significant phases in Koons’ oeuvre to date.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Edited by Karen Marta.
Reflecting on 20 years of making art, Jeff Koons talks to Hans Ulrich Obrist about his vocation and its frequently controversial highlights. Koons makes acknowledgement here of determinative influences such as Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol, and elucidates his sense of the legacy of Pop art and his own transformations of that legacy. Koons emerges from this volume as a charmingly open and very focused artist, with strong views on the purposes of art today, and advice for practitioners: “See everything as an opportunity. Stay focused, then amazing things can happen.” Koons' goals are also inspiringly utopian and appropriate to all forms of art: “The journey of art begins with self-acceptance,” he declares at one point, espousing his ideal of art as a tool for happiness. “Objective art is about Love.”
Published by Holzwarth Publications. Text by Gudrun Inboden, Anette Hüsch.
Jeff Koons' newest paintings combine high pixelation of sexual imagery with gestural paint splashes, in an erotic rampage that bursts off the canvas, energized by a friction between photography, painting and digital media. In part an homage to Courbet's "Origin of theWorld," these works argue for the flourishing of libido and aim to make a direct hit upon their viewer: "My work will use everything that it can to communicate. It will use any trick, I'll do anything- absolutely anything-to communicate and to win the viewer over," says the artist. Offsetting this quasi-religious solicitousness is Koons' usual great degree of care in the layering of images, and the pixelated imagery that compels the viewer to stand back some way to process it. (For Koons, pixelation too is a sign of authenticity.) This beautifully produced edition presents five of these new paintings printed on tipped-in color plates.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Anette Hüsch, Peter-Klaus Schuster.
Jeff Koons' spectacular October 2008 exhibition at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie presented the infamous series of sculptures and paintings known collectively as Celebration, a project whose fabrication has involved so much labor (both manual and computer-aided) that Koons seemed to almost vanish from the art world radar in the 1990s, when he first undertook the series. At present, Celebration's best-known work may be the 10-foot-tall, stainless-steel "Balloon Dog," typical of the outsize scale and remarkably clean sheen of Koons' sculptures, in which the sensory joys of childhood object relations are revisited and espoused. Such works wear their playroom origins on their sleeves, but their gargantuan proportions, with their attendant sense of menace, establish them firmly in the adult world as infant objects retrieved and rebuilt with adult strength. "The work tries to gain support from the confidence of the gesture," Koons says, "to be kind of in the moment, and to have confidence within the self." Inasmuch as such observations could be true of much art, Koons is unusually open about what drives his work, all the while preserving its self-sufficiency as art. This monograph documents these mammoth installations in the Neue Nationalgalerie's Upper Hall, an exhibition that without doubt constitutes a milestone in the artist's career.
Published by Editions Xavier Barral. Foreword by François Pinault. Text by Jena-Pierre Criqui, Edouard Papet, Michel Houellebecq, Béatrix Saule.
This volume presents a marriage made in camp heaven--the splendid extravagance of the palace of Versailles as a backdrop for the gregarious, loud and equally extravagant sculptures of contemporary American Pop artist Jeff Koons, who mounted the first contemporary art exhibition ever in the apartments of the king in September 2008. What other artist could match Louis XIV's love of the saccharine gesture? Sugared up to the max, Koons here counterposes Versailles' rich detail with his more simplified forms, including a monumental red chocolate-box-style heart, balloon dog and suspended red aluminum lobster. Other works outdo Versailles for kitsch, such as Koons' marble self-portrait, playfully sited amid busts of Louis XIV, his infamous "Michael Jackson and Bubbles" sculpture and his ever-cryptic bare-breasted blonde clutching the Pink Panther. Yet others, such as the large vase of flowers, blend seamlessly with the decor. Needless to say, accusations of irreverence have abounded, but Koons avows only respect for the venue and has testified that he has drawn inspiration for his floral sculptures from the "fantasy and control" shown by Louis XIV himself. The degree of sympathy is as hard to contest as the edge of parody: Asked why he installed his vitrine of vacuum cleaners among the portraits of royalty in the Queen's antechamber, Koons replied that, among other things, vacuum cleaners are "very womblike." This monograph records each of the 17 works as exhibited and is supplemented with texts by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, chairman of Versailles and a former French culture minister, and controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq, among others.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Foreword by Julia Peyton Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist. Text by Frederic Tuten, Arthur C. Danto, Dorothea von Hantelmann. Conversation with Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Jeff Koons' Popeye series, begun in 2002, incorporates some of the artist's signature themes and motifs: the surrealistic combination of everyday objects, cartoon imagery, outsized scale, art-historical references and children's toys. The sculptures reproduced here continue Koons' fondness for casting inflatable toys in aluminum—carefully painted to resemble supple plastic—which he juxtaposes here with unaltered everyday objects, such as chairs or garbage cans. The Popeye paintings are complex and layered compositions that combine disparate images both found and created by Koons (including images of the sculptures in the series). The instantly recognizable figures of Popeye and Olive Oyl are central, and recur across several key works within the book. Frederic Tuten, Arthur C. Danto and Dorothea von Hantelmann provide commentary on this fun body of work, which Koons discusses in a conversation with Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Published by Gagosian Gallery. Essay by Daniel Pinchbeck.
What a lush garden! Imagine the berserk beds that could sprout Koons' polychromed wood begonias next to Warhol's Matisse-adrift-on-Monet silkscreened petunias. This smart volume plants Koons' mostly sculptural exploration of the flower motif alongside a history of Warhol's serialized prints and drawings of the same from the 50s, 60s and 70s.
PUBLISHER Gagosian Gallery
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 10.25 x 10.25 in. / 111 pgs / 62 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 2/2/2003 No longer our product
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2003
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781880154854TRADE List Price: $80.00 CDN $95.00
Published by Guggenheim Museum Publications. Essay by Robert Rosenblum. Interview by David Sylvester.
For his recent series of work entitled Easy Fun-Ethereal, Jeff Koons employs new computer technology to merge populist icons into desktop collages, which he then transforms into traditional oil paintings rendered with photorealist precision. Drawn from glossy magazines and advertisements, the imagery includes smiley-faced sandwiches, spiraling roller coasters, succulent lips and abstract juice splashes. These hybrids of fun and fantasy simultaneously celebrate childhood pleasures and adult sexual desire: in keeping with Koons's stated intention to "communicate with the masses," the cheerful works are accessible to all. Accompanying an exhibition of seven large-scale paintings commissioned for the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, this lively volume features 40 full-color reproductions. Art historian David Sylvester's interview with Koons puts forth the artist's perspective on his career to date, while Robert Rosenblum's essay provides an in-depth analysis of the technique and imagery employed in EasyFun-Ethereal.
Published by Kunsthaus Bregenz. Essays by Eckard Schneider and Alison Gingeras.
The man who enshrined a hoover vacuum and a basketball, who created a life-sized polychromed wood replica of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles, who transfered his sex life with Italian porn star wife Ilona Staller into art, and who made a monumental topiary sculpture in the shape of a puppy, is back! After a seven-year hiatus from the public eye, bad boy Jeff Koons returns in this comprehensive and overdue survey of his work of the past five years. Three elaborate, highly-produced series are presented, including the joyously effusive "Celebration," an ambitious body of 16 photo-realist paintings and 20 stainless steel sculptures that draw upon the symbols and objects associated with the observance of life's festive rituals.
PUBLISHER Kunsthaus Bregenz
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9.5 x 11 in. / 134 pgs / 40 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 5/2/2002 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2002
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9783883755151TRADE List Price: $45.00 CDN $55.00
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers. Artwork by Jeff Koons. Edited by Thomas Kellein.
The man who enshrined a Hoover vacuum cleaner, who suspended a basketball in a fish tank half filled with water, who created a life-size polychromed wooden replica of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles, who transferred his sex life with his then-wife, Italian porn star Ilona Staller (aka Cicciolina), onto canvas, and who made a monumental topiary sculpture in the shape of a puppy, is here given a mini-retrospective in the form of a book. Jeff Koons: Pictures 1980-2002 focuses primarily on the formation and development of Koons's paintings, but, given that he considers his early sculptures to be "three-dimensional paintings," this limit need hardly be considered medium-restrictive. Thomas Kellein's extended interview provides a walloping good tale told by the artist himself. In it, Koons remembers his childhood drawing lessons, his first sale (his father had a decorating business and showroom where he would display and sell his 11-year-old son's art), his experiences at art school, his courtship with ex-wife Cicciolina (they fell in love after he hired her to make his Made in Heaven series), and how the birth of his son inspired his Celebration series, all the while sharing his philosophies on art. Organized chronologically and with an extended biography and bibliography, Pictures presents each of the main works from Koons's painting series from 1980 to the present.