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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


Additional:

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