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Jeff Koons

Heaven and Earth: Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons (group show)
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
21 October 2017 – 31 March, 2019

Jeff Koons, Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Dr. JK Silver Series), 1985. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.55.a–k. © Jeff Koons Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago
Jeff Koons, Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Dr. JK Silver Series), 1985. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Gerald S. Elliott Collection, 1995.55.a–k. © Jeff Koons Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

For the MCA’s 50th anniversary, we are bringing together two of the most important artists in the museum’s history, as well as icons of the last 100 years. Heaven and Earth: Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons finds common ground between these seemingly disparate artists, with Alexander Calder’s weightless sculptures nominally representing “heaven” and Jeff Koons’s celebrations of the mundane and concrete as “earth.” This pairing highlights both artists’ interest in playing with balance and gravity to make compelling sculptural statements, while reveling in the contrasts between high art aspirations and mundane material choices.

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In the early 1980s, Koons (American, b. 1954) ushered in an influential new era of art with works that borrow from liquor advertisements or posters of basketball legends, as well as over-the-top celebrations of household goods like vacuum cleaners, in order to redefine the boundaries of taste. His star power was recognized early on and the MCA organized his first museum exhibition in 1988, and revisited his work with a major survey in 2008. Thanks to many generous gifts, the MCA collection holds his work in depth.

This playful and unexpected pairing of two of the most recognized artists of the modern era have an extended presence in the MCA’s galleries and will be updated periodically with substitutions by both artists.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago


Additional:

Jeff Koons

Plato in LA: Contemporary Artists' Visions (group show)
The Getty Villa, Los Angeles
18 April – 3 September 2018

Jeff Koons, Play-Doh, 1994–2014 © Jeff Koons.
Jeff Koons, Play-Doh, 1994–2014 © Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons, Richard Prince et al.

Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington
14 February – 13 May 2018

Jeff Koons, New! New Too!, 1983 © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons, New! New Too!, 1983 © Jeff Koons

This spring, the Hirshhorn presents the ‘80s as you’ve never seen it before.  Brand New is the largest museum exhibition to explore the collision of art and commerce in the 1980s, an iconic decade when artwork emerged as a product and the artist, a brand.

Razor-sharp, witty, satirical, and deeply subversive, these more than 150 works from 66 of the most influential artists of the decade reveal the fascinating ways art infiltrated the worlds of advertising and business, launching a revolution that has come to define contemporary art today.

Organized chronologically, Brand New features rarely seen paintings, sculpture and installations from the biggest names in art today, alongside their lesser-known counterparts, including Ashley Bickerton, Jessica Diamond, General Idea, Peter Halley, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Peter Nagy, Joel Otterson, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Haim Steinbach, Meyer Vaisman, and Julia Wachtel, among others. It also features key multimedia installations that recreated for the first time since the 80s, including seminal works by Barbara Bloom, Gretchen Bender, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Thirty years ago, seismic shifts in politics, economics and technology brought about a golden era of contemporary art in the United States, particularly in New York City, with its heady Wall Street wealth and gritty streets. During this time, artists became celebrities, brand names, and power brokers, selling themselves and their art as products, forming, in the process, the undisputed center of the contemporary art world.

Consumerism was quickly defining the decade, and the modern brand was driving social culture, led by major multinational companies like Pepsi, Nike, and CNN. It also saw the birth of major cultural forces that continue to shape our world today—MTV. Personal computing. Branding. New Wave. The AIDS epidemic. Reaganomics. Pop-ups. Madonna. Neon. Punk. Gentrification. Cable TV.

Many associate the art of the 1980s with large-scale painting or Neo-Expressionism, but Brand New suggests an alternative history. It looks instead at the key group of New York’s counterculture artists who appropriated the language of modern commerce—logos, advertising, products, even cable television—as a new and unprecedented medium for artistic creation. This radical approach to art making set them apart from artists who commanded the greatest market interest at the time, and by rethinking the connection between objects and concepts in the 1980s, they changed the landscape of the art world forever.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington


Rineke Dijkstra, Jeff Koons et al.

MoMA at NGV (group show)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
9 June – 7 October 2018

The National Gallery of Victoria, in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, New York, will present MoMA at NGV as the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition in 2018. MoMA at NGV will provide a unique survey of the Museum’s iconic collection. Consisting of approximately 200 key works, arranged chronologically into eight thematic sections, the exhibition will trace the development of art and design from late-nineteenth-century urban and industrial transformation, through to the digital and global present.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a renowned institution dedicated to championing innovative modern and contemporary art. The Museum opened in Manhattan in 1929, with the vision to become ‘the greatest modern art museum in the world’. This is reflected in its interdisciplinary collection of almost 200,000 works by over 10,000 artists, shared between six curatorial departments: Architecture and Design, Drawings and Prints, Film, Media and Performance Art, Painting and Sculpture, and Photography.

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


Jeff Koons

We are Everywhere (group show)
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago
21 October 2017 - 28 January 2018

Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986  © Jeff Koons Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago
Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986 © Jeff Koons Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

We Are Everywhere, showcases artists who borrow from popular culture—soup cans, movie stills, neon signage, or floor tiles—to critique its workings. Artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Bruce Nauman, as well as Chicago Imagists Karl Wirsum and Roger Brown, re-present and reveal social realities that may otherwise go unnoticed. Artists such as Stan Douglas, Cindy Sherman, Gillian Wearing, Jeff Koons, and others have engaged with new forms of media to extend the reach of their own viewpoints and experiences. Barbara Kruger and Lawrence Abu Hamdan further encourage us to think twice about the power structures in which we invest, be they the notion of the state or the corporation.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago


Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool et al.

Pop Pictures People (group show)
Museum Brandhorst, Munich
30 June 2017 - 30 June 2018