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Jeff Koons: A Retrospective

June 27–Oct 19, 2014

Jeff Koons, Tulips, 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 x 131 in. (282.9 x 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Tulips, 1995–98. Oil on canvas; 111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons

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. Yet despite these achievements, Koons has never been the subject of a retrospective surveying the full scope of his career. Comprising almost 150 objects dating from 1978 to the present, this exhibition will be the most comprehensive ever devoted to the artist’s groundbreaking oeuvre. By reconstituting all of his most iconic works and significant series in a chronological narrative, the retrospective will allow 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. 

Jeff Koons: A Retrospective is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Nancy and Steve Crown Family Curator and Associate Director of Programs.

The exhibition travels to the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (November 26, 2014–April 27, 2015) and to the Guggenheim Bilbao (June 5–September 27, 2015).

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by

The exhibition is sponsored by

Significant support is provided by Neil G. Bluhm; Steven A. and Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation, Inc.; Susan and John Hess; Cari and Michael J. Sacks; and the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Major support is provided by Anne Cox Chambers, Nancy C. and A. Steven Crown, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, Lise and Michael Evans, Anne Dias Griffin and Kenneth Griffin, Dakis Joannou, Allison and Warren Kanders, Amy and John Phelan, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, and David Zwirner Gallery.

Generous support is provided by The Broad Art Foundation; Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy; Wendy Fisher; Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill; Antonio Homem, Sonnabend Gallery; Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins; Liz and Eric Lefkofsky; Linda and Harry Macklowe; the Mugrabi Collection; Brooke and Daniel Neidich; Almine Rech Gallery; David Teiger; and Fern and Lenard Tessler.

Opening Dinner sponsored by

Works from the Retrospective
Select a series

Balloon Dog (Yellow), 1994–2000

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Yellow), 1994–2000. Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating; 121 × 143 × 45 in. (307.3 × 363.2 × 114.3 cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Yellow), 1994–2000. Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating; 121 × 143 × 45 in. (307.3 × 363.2 × 114.3 cm). Private collection. © Jeff Koons

Despite its ten-foot stature and one-ton weight, Balloon Dog (Yellow) uncannily conveys its ephemeral source. Koons worked with a specialized foundry in California to cast and finish the work’s sixty separate precision-engineered, stainless steel parts. He stipulated not only that the outside of the sculpture should capture the curves and puckers of a balloon dog but also that its inside suggest the free circulation of air, as if it were actually fashioned from a single balloon. Koons imparted Balloon Dog (Yellow) with an air of innocent playfulness as well as elements that suggest sexual orifices and protuberances. He has hinted at the sculpture’s darker themes by comparing its form to a Trojan horse, the giant wooden gift that the Greeks bestowed on their Trojan enemies, while Greek soldiers lurked inside. Like all of the Celebration sculptures, Balloon Dog (Yellow) is one of five examples in different colors, lending each version a unique character and distinct emotional charge.

Exhibition Catalogue

Examining the breadth and depth of thirty-five years of work by Jeff Koons (b. 1955), one of the most influential and controversial artists of the 20th century, this highly anticipated volume features all of his most famous pieces. Also included are preparatory sketches and plans for sculptures and paintings as well as installation photographs that shed light on Koons’s artistic process and trace the development of his work throughout his landmark career.

The excerpt available here features an introductory essay by curator Scott Rothkopf. Additional contributors to the catalogue are: Antonio Damasio, Jeffrey Deitch, Isabelle Graw, Achim Hochdörfer, Michelle Kuo, Rachel Kushner, Pamela M. Lee, and Alexander Nagel.

In the News


Jeff Koons: A Retrospective
Exhibition catalogue
Jeff Koons Service Plate: Play-Doh
Limited-edition porcelain plate
Jeff Koons Platter: Ushering in Banality
Limited-edition porcelain platter

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