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Jeff Koons, Richard Prince et al.

Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s (group show)
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


Additional:

Richard Prince

Cindy Sherman Richard Prince: Astrup Fearnley Collection (dual exhibition)
Fundación Malba - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires
28 June - 29 October 2018

An exhibition devoted to two leading figures in contemporary photography, whose work revolutionized the field in the latter half of the 20th century. Divided into two large galleries, the exhibition compares and contrasts the styles of both artists through a selection of 34 photos –most of them large-scale–, from the collection of Oslo's Astrup Fearnley Museum, which, since its founding in 1993, has focused on assembling a vast range of output by leading figures in international contemporary art. The show will include the most representative series in the careers of each artist, from the late '70s to the present day: for Richard Prince, this means Cowboys and Spiritual America –with Brooke Shields–, for Cindy Sherman, the famous self-portraits of Untitled Film Still[s] and History Portraits.

Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince came out of the movement known as the Pictures Generation, which took shape in the New York scene of the mid-1970s, among artists working with the idea of appropriation of images from popular culture and the mass media. Key figures in the movement, Sherman and Prince are masters of social critique and of transformation in the medium of photography.

Fundación Malba - Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires


Jeff Koons

SEA OF DESIRE (group show)
Fondation Carmignac, Porquerolles
2 June - 4 November 2018

The phrase SEA OF DESIRE, written in sprawling letters on a large-scale painting by Ed Ruscha, greets the visitors at the end of their journey through the Porquerolles forest. ‘Words have temperature’, states the artist, ‘When they reach a certain point and become burning words, then they appeal to me….’. The ’word temperature’ of SEA OF DESIRE is hot, boiling over with ambiguous meaning. On the one hand, this sentence expresses the Eros drive and our desire for beauty. On the other, it contains our irresistible attraction to drama and potentially, destruction.

These two contrary and inseparable predilections sit at the heart of a literary masterpiece, written not far from Porquerolles, at Sanary sur Mer, in 1931: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This science-fiction novel anticipated profound social changes due to new technologies, propaganda and mind control. Thirty years later, Huxley revisited his novel and reassessed that the world was fulfilling his prophecy in high-speed: a seductive world entertaining for the masses, but rotten and manipulative under the surface.

Fifty years ago in France, in May 1968, there was an awakening. The outbursts meant protest, civil disobedience, as well as newfound freedoms and the upheaval of old rules and systems. The exhibition SEA OF DESIRE does not throw paving stones, as in the May 1968 movement, but it does confront the viewer with artworks that challenge their appetite for revolt, freedom and beauty.

SEA OF DESIRE is devised as a journey guided by the thread of desire, which visitors must follow in order to lose themselves, from the first staircase that leads them beneath the surface. Rebellious iconic artists are in dialogue with each other throughout the eight chapters that structure the exhibition, from ‘Pop Icons Reloaded’ to ‘Brave New World Revisited’, including Sandro Botticelli, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, along with younger artists whose artistic voices are no less loud and clear.

Fondation Carmignac, Porquerolles


Jeff Koons

Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300 – Now) (group show)
The Met Breuer, New York
21 March - 22 July

Jeff Koons, Buster Keaton, 1988 © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons, Buster Keaton, 1988 © Jeff Koons

Seven hundred years of sculptural practice—from fourteenth-century Europe to the global present—are examined anew in this groundbreaking exhibition. Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300–Now) explores narratives of sculpture in which artists have sought to replicate the literal, living presence of the human body. On view exclusively at The Met Breuer, this major international loan exhibition of about 120 works draws on The Met's rich collections of European sculpture and modern and contemporary art, while also featuring a selection of important works from national and international museums and private collections.

Just how perfectly should figurative sculpture resemble the human body? Histories and theories of Western sculpture have typically favored idealized representations, as exemplified by the austere, white marble statuary of the classical tradition. Such works create the fiction of bodies existing outside time, space, and personal or cultural experience. Like Life, by contrast, places key sculptures from different eras in conversation with each other, in order to examine the age-old problem of realism and the different strategies deployed by artists to blur the distinctions between original and copy, and life and art. Foremost among these is the application of color to imitate skin and flesh. Other tactics include the use of casts taken from real bodies, dressing sculpted figures in clothing, constructing moveable limbs and automated bodies, even incorporating human blood, hair, teeth, and bones. Uncanny in their approximation of life, such works have the potential to unsettle and disarm observers, forcing us to consider how we see ourselves and others, and to think deeply about our common humanity.

Juxtaposing well-known masterpieces with surprising and little-seen works, the exhibition brings together sculptures by artists from Donatello, El Greco, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Antonio Canova, Auguste Rodin, and Edgar Degas to Louise Bourgeois, Meret Oppenheim, Isa Genzken, Charles Ray, Fred Wilson, Robert Gober, Bharti Kher, Duane Hanson, Jeff Koons, and Yinka Shonibare MBE, as well as wax effigies, reliquaries, mannequins, and anatomical models. Together, these works highlight the continuing anxieties and pleasures attendant upon the three-dimensional simulation of the human body.

The Met Breuer, New York


Jeff Koons

De Calder à Koons, bijoux d’artistes. La collection idéale de Diane Venet (group show)
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
7 March - 9 September 2018

From Alexander Calder to Jeff Koons and ranging from Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso and Niki de Saint Phalle to César, Takis and Louise Bourgeois, a host of modern and contemporary artists have taken a close interest in jewellery. Diane Venet, who has collected artist’s jewellery for more than thirty years, is sharing her passion for these miniature artworks that often echo the artist’s formal language. Her collection of some 230 pieces, complemented by exceptional loans from galleries, collectors and the artists’ families, chronologically and thematically illustrates the work of 150 French and foreign artists. From March 7 to July 8, 2018, Diane Venet’s jewellery collection will be showcased in an exhibition designed by interior architect Antoine Plazanet and graphic designers ÉricandMarie.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris


Jeff Koons

The Sonnabend Collection. Part II (group show)
Museu Serralves, Porto
11 May - 23 September 2018

Jeff Koons, Hulk (Friends), 2004–12 © Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons, Hulk (Friends), 2004–12 © Jeff Koons

Following the presentation of The Sonnabend Collection. Half a Century of American and European Art. Part I in 2016, the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art presents a major exhibition devoted to the Sonnabend Collection, The Sonnabend Collection. Part II.

Created by the influential art dealer Ileana Sonnabend, the Sonnabend Collection is considered one of the most important collections of American and European art of the second half of the twentieth century, representing some of the most influential western art movements of our time. While known for her support of the prime artistic protagonists of pop art, minimalism, arte povera, post-minimalism and conceptual art, Sonnabend’s engagement continued up to her death in 2007.

Part II will not be a chronological continuation of Part I, in 2016, but an exploration of two other themes present in the Sonnabend Collection:  the use of photography starting with conceptual art in the 1960s and coming up to the present; and the work of artists from the 1980s which relate to pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. The exhibition will include works by Gilbert & George, Bernd and Hilla Becher, John Baldessari, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Candida Hofer, Haim Steinbach and Ashley Bickerton, among others. A presentation of sculptures by Jeff Koons, produced between 1985 and 2012, will constitute a small retrospective exhibition of works by this iconic American artist.

Museu Serralves, Porto


Richard Prince

Cowboys: Selected Works from the Collection (solo show)
Espace culturel Louis Vuitton, Beijing
13 April - 2 September 2018

© Richard Prince, all rights reserved © Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York
© Richard Prince, all rights reserved © Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York

For its third exhibition, the Espace Louis Vuitton Beijing presents Cowboys, an exhibition dedicated to American artist Richard Prince. This exhibition has been produced in the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s “Hors-les-murs” program, showcasing previously unseen holdings of the Collection at the Espaces Culturels Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Munich, Venice and Beijing, thus carrying out the Fondation’s intent to realize international projects and make them accessible to a broader public.

Richard Prince belongs to the generation of American artists who grew up in the 1950s at the time of the explosion of mass media (television, cinema, magazines). He appeared on the international scene during the late 1970s alongside Cindy Sherman, Sherrie Levine and Barbara Kruger, as a major proponent of appropriation art. He deconstructed the mechanisms of representation and communication promoted by American popular culture. In 1977 his practice took a radical turn when he started re-using advertising images, which he photographed and appropriated. Cutting out the text logo, he reframed the images, creating blurred effects and emphasising colour. Working largely in series form, his subjects were models, cowboys and women on motorbikes. One of his most well-known series working in this vein is the Cowboys series, appropriating the advertising campaign images of Marlboro cigarettes.

Beginning in the 1950s Marlboro ads featured cowboys riding through the wide open terrain of the Wild West in the United States of America. The cowboy was an instantly recognisable icon, wearing denim, leather chaps, boots, spurs, and Stetson hat. Almost exclusively white, he is portrayed as handsome, weathered, and physically fit. Both a role model and sex symbol, the cowboy appeals to men and women alike. By the mid-1960s the “Marlboro Man”, as this figure became known, was so recognisable and brand-identified that Philip Morris was able to drop all direct references to cigarettes in its ads in favour of subtly alluring smokers to come, and be part of, the epic Western landscape of “Marlboro Country”.

The Espace Louis Vuitton Beijing invites you to experience emblematic works from the Collection of Prince’s Cowboys  series, including: Untitled (Cowboy)  (1994), Mountain Cowboys  (1998-89) and The Blue Cowboys  (1999). Comprised of eight works in total, these photographs exemplify this important and renowned moment in Prince’s oeuvre. Through appropriation by the means of ‘re-photography’, Prince turned the cowboy into an emblematic, complex object, expressing nostalgia for a mythical, foundational period while highlighting the stereotype through “clichés”.

Fondation Louis Vuitton



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

Plato is one of the founding figures of Western civilization. His legacy encompasses ethics, politics, theology, and poetics. In this exhibition at the Getty Villa, a museum exploring classical art and culture, some of today's most celebrated artists consider Plato's impact on the contemporary world. In the form of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and large-scale installations, they respond to his contribution to philosophy—from defining the ideal to understanding the human condition—while fostering the ultimate Platonic experience: contemplation.

The Getty Villa, Los Angeles