Jeff Koons at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Neue Nationalgalerie, BerlinNeue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Cult of the Artist: Jeff Koons. Celebration
Exhibition > 8 February 2009
For the first time ever, the Neue Nationalgalerie will be presenting 11 sculptures from the Celebration series by the American artist Jeff Koons, in the glass temple to modernity designed by Mies van der Rohe.
Hanging Heart Violet
high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating and yellow brass. 106 x 85 x 40 inches, 269.2 x 215.9 x 101.6 cm
5 unique versions (Red/Gold, Magenta/Gold, Silver/Blue, Violet/Gold, Gold/Red)1994-2006
© Jeff Koons 2008
To mark the major series of exhibitions on the Cult of the Artitst, the Neue Nationalgalerie proudly presents the exhibition entitled Jeff Koons. Celebration. running from the 31 October 2008 to 8 February 2009.
Jeff Koons currently ranks as one of the most internationally significant and successful artists and represents the Cult of the Artitst, better than any other artist in the present day. The American artist has now been working on his Celebration series periodically since 1994. For the first time ever, this series of works, which will eventually comprise a total of 16 paintings and 20 sculptures, is to be shown with so many pieces at once.
Celebration translates the design vocabulary of children’s toys and gift and luxury items into large-scale sculptures and paintings of vibrant colour. In the giant sculptures on show in Berlin, the artist combines several media which he already developed in earlier series of works. In the Inflatables of the late 1970s, such things as a blown up child’s toy, figures and flowers are seen reflected in an assembly of mirrors, in which the colourful image of the bright objects is multiplied; in the Equilibrium series of the 1980s he cast such objects as rubber dinghies or oxygen masks in bronze and thus rendered their practical value absurd. Equally, in the 1980s he also made use for the first time of stainless, high gloss steel in Luxury and Degradation.
Balloon Dog (Red), Diamond (Yellow) or Hanging Heart (Violet / Gold) positively beguile the viewer with their charms, with their clear colours and the play of effects on the high gloss surfaces that reflect their environment in distorted images, fragmented over and over again. In a completely different manner to that of Paul Klee, whose The Klee Universe can be viewed at the same time on the lower floor of the Neue Nationalgalerie, for Koons the subject of childhood also plays a decisive role: the child’s bedroom, which is unequivocally evoked here, appears to be the earthly and material equivalent of divine paradise.
Balloon Dog Red
high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating
121 x 143 x 45 inches. 307.3 x 363.2 x 114.3 cm
5 unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Yellow, Orange, Red)
© Jeff Koons 2008
Cat on a Clothesline
123 x 110 x 50 inches. 312.4 x 279.4 x 127 cm
© Jeff Koons 2008
Jeff Koons. Celebration is an exhibition put on by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and forms part of the festival of exhibitions being held on the Cult of the Artist. The exhibition also serves as a suitable high note for Peter-Klaus Schuster to bid farewell as Director of the Nationalgalerie. Jeff Koons. Celebration has been made possible by the Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie, which bears sole responsibility for funding and organizing the exhibition. The project was fortunate enough to win the support of E.ON AG as its main sponsor. The media partners which have helped make the exhibition known to a wider public outside of Berlin are: Die Welt, RBB Fernsehen and RBB Kulturradio.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 120-paged catalogue with large-format illustrations, published by the Hatje Cantz Verlag. Inside the catalogue there is also an interview between Peter-Klaus Schuster and Jeff Koons as well as a poem by Rainald Goetz and an introductory text from Anette Hüsch, the curator.
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie
Photos © Jeff Koons 2008 – All rights reserved