Jeff Koons et al.
POP Power from Warhol to Koons, Masterworks from the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke
28 September 2019 - 8 March 2020
From Campbell’s Soup to Mickey Mouse, and from comic strips to balloon dogs, POP Power celebrates a perennial movement that revels in the new and the now, the celebrity and the commodity, and art made accessible for the masses. Seminal works from the original Pop Art masters such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist are paired alongside today’s leading Neo-Pop provocateurs such as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami, providing a fun, irreverent look at the low brow, high art of our popular culture.
With the creations of American Neo-Pop artist Jeff Koons and his English counterpart Damien Hirst fetching some of the world’s highest auction prices for a living artist, the aesthetics and approaches of Pop art have demonstrated a unique staying power, in contrast to other major post-World War II movements like Abstract Expressionism or Minimalism.
POP Power from Warhol to Koons: Masterworks from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation explores the continuing relevance of Pop art by featuring select works from the nation’s largest private collection of prints and multiples, which now numbers over 13,000 works and comprises one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of prints by Pop legend Andy Warhol.
POP Power focuses on leading contemporary figures such as Koons, Hirst, and the Japanese master of the Neo-Pop Superflat style, Takashi Murakami, yet includes a number of key pieces by seminal American Pop leaders Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana, as well as the French-American and Swedish-American Pop sculptors Niki de Saint Phalle and Claes Oldenburg, who is still actively working.
Likewise, counted among the principal group of Neo-Pop artists is Keith Haring, who befriended Warhol in the 1980s and popularized graffiti art before dying at the young age of thirty-one.
Other Neo-Pop artists at the center of the exhibition are Julian Opie from England and the Americans Donald Baechler, Donald Sultan, and Richard Prince.
The inclusion of works from the original period of Pop art, which came into its own in America in the 1960s, provides meaningful context for the contemporary Neo-Pop expressions that constitute the core of the exhibition.
For instance, Warhol’s forays into the realms of artistic celebrity and art-cum-commodity lie at the heart of the success strategies of Koons, Hirst, and Murakami.
On another level, Lichtenstein’s hallmark style derived from comic strips holds analogies with both Opie’s characteristic simplifications produced by computer-software manipulation of photographs and Murakami’s Superflat aesthetic associated with Japanese manga and anime.
A special feature of POP Power will be the juxtaposition of individual Pop and Neo-Pop works, which not only contextualizes the latter but also encourages fresh understandings of the former. In this regard, Warhol’s ghostly screenprint of Marilyn Monroe in reversed black-and-white, created about 1978, takes on enhanced meaning next to Hirst’s photogravure etching of a bejeweled skull, the 2008 Memento: Victory over Death.
Curated by the Taubman Museum of Art’s Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Education Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable, this major ticketed exhibition provides new insight into contemporary Neo-Pop art, its diverse manifestations, and its grounding in and evolution from original Pop art.
The exhibition includes many new acquisitions by collector Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Schnitzer Family Foundation of the work of Koons and other artists.
In addition to regularly sharing works with institutions across the country, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation is committed to sponsoring innovative art educational programs, which the Taubman will be planning around POP Power.
Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke
Jeff Koons, Ernesto Neto, Richard Prince et al.
Happy! (group show)
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale
27 October 2019 – 5 July 2020
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale presents Happy!, a new exhibition of contemporary works produced by artists who aim to engage the viewer emotionally. As in life, sorrow and happiness are intertwined in their works. Happy! is organized by NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and is curated by Bonnie Clearwater, the Museum’s director and chief curator, who states, “Many of these artists acknowledge that making art is an essential means for them to work out their own trauma and frustrations, and they suggest that art can provide viewers with a sense of well-being that will help them cope with life’s challenges.”
Happy! includes works by Gesner Abelard, Kathryn Andrews, Cory Arcangel, Eugene Brands, Francesco Clemente, Tracey Emin, Christina Forrer, FriendsWithYou, Félix González-Torres, Adler Guerrier, Keith Haring, Asger Jorn, Samson Kambalu, KAWS, Ragnar Kjartansson, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Ernesto Neto, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Yoko Ono, Jorge Pantoja, Carl-Henning Pederson, Enoc Perez, Esther Phillips, Fernand Pierre, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Mark Rothko, Robert Saint-Brice, Kenny Scharf, Alake Shilling, Frances Trombly, Andy Warhol, and others.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
Absolute Value / From the Collection of Marie and Jose Mugrabi (solo show)
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
10 March – 10 October 2020
Regarded by many as the most important, influential, popular, and controversial living artist in the world, Jeff Koons is a unique cultural phenomenon, whose resonances and influences extend far beyond the confines of the art world.
Koons (born 1955, York, Pennsylvania, USA) is the foremost of the American Neo-Pop artists who emerged in the 1980s and explored the meaning of art and spectacle in a media-saturated era, while adopting an aesthetics that accentuates the consumption culture that came to the fore at this time. The exhibition presents a selection of large-scale works from different periods in Koons’s career, from the 1980s to the present. The works are from the artist’s most renowned series, spanning his diverse spectrum of mediums and techniques.
Koons’s work undercuts the division between “good taste” and “bad taste,” mixing together “high” with “low” culture and kitsch. He continues the trajectory of 1960s Pop artists by making — with unprecedented intensity — an incriminating and fetishistic connection between art and the world of commodities. In his early career, Koons operated within the tradition started by Marcel Duchamp, presenting readymade objects, such as vacuum cleaners and basketballs, within illuminated display cases — thereby elevating commercial and domestic objects and highlighting the allure of new products. Later on in his career, various colorful kitsch images replaced the industrial products: puppies, flowers, teddy-bears, piglets, or other playthings made of porcelain or wood by craftsmen on Koons’ behalf. Koons further developed his practice of appropriating imagery from popular culture by inflating simple objects to huge dimensions in stainless steel, marble, or other materials. Other sculptures featured, in overblown extravagance, celebrities (such as Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga), inflatable pool toys, or cartoon characters (such as Popeye and the Hulk — themselves figures of bulging masculinity). These works were produced with extreme perfectionism, giving them an almost religious aura and rendering them highly coveted objects of desire for art collectors and the general public alike.
Absolute value is a mathematical concept, denoting size in numerical terms: the absolute value of a number is the distance between it and the zero point on the number axis. The use of this notion in the exhibition’s title raises the question of value as a fundamental notion in Koons’s art, and highlights the long controversy over the attribution of value (or lack thereof) to artistic objects (echoing the question of “Is it art?” asked with regard to Duchamp’s Fountain, which is a standard urinal). The concept also finds expression in Koons’s practice of merging together symbolic value and economic value, thereby creating an arena in which one cannot – and possibly shouldn’t — tell them apart. Not least, the title reflects a search for an imaginary distance (absolute value) within the span of art history, of which Koons’s art is both a part and deviation.
The “Jeff Koons phenomenon” precedes Jeff Koons’s actual works and the physical encounter with them. There are few artists whose works are so etched into the collective cultural memory that an encounter with any single artwork of theirs is suffused with associations of all the others. The title therefore posits Koons himself — the artist and the phenomenon — as an axiom of contemporary art: a controversial artist, who is also a phenomenon that cannot be dismissed, a genius, and a symbol of an era.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Glenn Brown, Jeff Koons et al.
Inspiration – Iconic Works (group show)
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (20 February – 17 May 2020)
Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki (19 June – 20 September 2020)
Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery and Nationalmuseum, Sweden, are producing together an exhibition Iconic Works which addresses the formation of the art history through certain key images reused and reinterpreted by artists to this day. The building blocks of the visual DNA of Western art can be traced back to a number of signature pieces, so-called iconic works, like Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Rembrandt's The Night Watch that still have strong relevance in today's world.
Interestingly, these few key images have played a leading role in the canon of art history – no matter if we look at the earliest publications or the latest versions on the same issue. The art historical narrative was shaped hand in hand with collecting and display practices of the emerging museum institutions in the 19th-century Europe.
The exhibition tells the story of the iconic works: what they were and where they emerged as well as why and how they continue on influencing the contemporary art scene. Accordingly, it shows influence of museum sites, such as Glyptothek in Munich, Altes Museum in Berlin and South Kensington Museum (now Victoria & Albert Museum) in London.
The curators of the show are Dr. Susanna Pettersson, art historian and director general, Nationalmuseum, Sweden, and James Putnam, museum historian and independent author curator, with Sointu Fritze, chief curator, Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery as co-curator. A major catalogue and conference program will accompany the exhibition.
Contemporary artists Glenn Brown, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Nancy Fouts, Mark Karasick, Jeff Koons, Jenny Saville, Cindy Sherman, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Gavin Turk, among many others, introduce their modern-day versions of iconic works from Hieronymus Bosch, Caravaggio, Francisco Goya, Michelangelo, Nicolas Poussin and Titian, just to mention a few examples.
In addition, Berlin-based photographer Ola Kolehmainen brings historical museums and their stunning spaces on view. The exhibition also includes selected plaster casts, academy studies and painted copies of the old masters' works showing similarities between all museum collections nowadays.
Glenn Brown Studio
Ateneum Art Museum
Jeff Koons, Albert Oehlen et al.
FOREVER YOUNG — 10 Jahre Museum Brandhorst (group show)
Museum Brandhorst, Munich
24 May 2019 - 26 April 2020
The museum’s tenth birthday in May 2019 is the occasion for an exhibition of its expanded collection. “Forever Young – 10 Years Museum Brandhorst” traces an arc ranging from the 1960s to present day art production, and combines many new acquisitions of recent years with the collection’s more familiar highlights.
The exhibition includes some 250 works by 44 artists and has three main themes: The first is Pop art, and especially its often overlooked political dimension. The second strand is dedicated to the thorny topic of subjectivity in the present day—and therefore also the question of how late capitalism influences identities. The third section turns to one of the Museum Brandhorst’s key strengths: Contemporary painting and the issue of how this traditional artistic genre renews itself time and again. With “Painting 2.0: Painting in the Information Age” the museum has formulated important theses on this in recent years, and continued it in many well respected individual exhibitions, such as “Wade Guyton: The New York Studio”, “Kerstin Brätsch: Innovation” and “Jutta Koether – Tour de Madame”. Especially for the anniversary, the gallery presenting Twombly’s rose paintings can be seen once again in its original form as envisaged by the artist. A prominent new acquisition is also presented from his very last work series, “Camino Real”, 2011. With its red, yellow and orange loops on a bright-green background, the painting ranks among Twombly’s most color-intensive works from a career spanning more than 60 years.
The exhibition is on display from May 24, 2019 to April 2020, and is accompanied by a diverse public program with lectures, talks, workshops, exhibition tours and performances.