One of the story headlines on the Hyperallergic website last week read: Jeff Koons Announces Retirement from Art. Under the headline was the sentence: The celebrity artist says a religious epiphany inspired the unexpected decision.
At the top of the story, in pale blue print, was the word: Satire. Barely visible.
The story ran on April 1st, but like some of the other spoofs on the Hyperallergic site (which usually has rational and interesting news stories about the the art scene) the story was taken seriously by many readers. Not surprising, since the Met received a bunch of calls after Hyperallergic printed a satirical article saying that the museum was Airbnbing their period rooms. At a party at the Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue on April 2, Jeff Koons said that the Hyperallergic article did raise some questions.
“It confused some people,” he said. “Friends in Europe and across the country contacted me, wondering [if it was true]. They were surprised. But no, I will absolutely not [retire]. I’m more engaged with my work than ever.”
High Expectations for Jeff Koons’ Rabbit at Christie’s
Works from the collection of publishing mogul S. I. Newhouse are going to be auctioned next month at Christie’s New York. Newhouse, who died in 2017, was one of the most prolific art collectors of the 20th and 21st centuries. Among the works to be auctioned is Jeff Koons’ Rabbit sculpture. Koons created Rabbit in 1986. It was unveiled at the Sonnabend Gallery’s New-Geo exhibition, where it created a stir for its upending of traditional sculpture.
Made of stainless steel, the sculpture stands 41 inches high, 19 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Since its unveiling, it has been displayed in major museum exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Château de Versailles, The Broad, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and others.
Koons created three Rabbit sculptures, and one artist’s proof. The Rabbit sculpture from the Newhouse collection is number two in the series. It’s estimated to go for $50,000,000-70,000,000 at the auction next month, exceeding the $58.4 million that Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for at Christies in 2013, making it the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.
Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology at the University of Oxford is the world’s oldest public museum. The irony of Jeff Koons’ modern, often subversive, works, surrounded by ancient and traditional masterpieces, is not lost on the artist. “I couldn’t think of a better place to have a dialogue about art today and what it can be” Koons said. The exhibit Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean runs through June 9, 2019.
Jeff Koons Sculptures at VFA
We have several works by Jeff Koons for sale at VFA, including Rabbit, Monkey and Swan, done in 2017, two versions of his iconic Balloon Dog, done in 2015 and Split Rocker, a porcelain bisque vase sculpture with a glazed porcelain interior.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Jeff Koons or any of the other fine works available at VFA.
Hakim Bishara. Jeff Koons Announces Retirement from Art. Hyperallergic. April 1, 2019.
Maxine Wally. Jeff Koons Says He Isn’t Retiring Anytime Soon at Ralph Lauren’s ‘Accidental Presidents’ Party. Women’s Wear Daily. April 3, 2019.
Masterpieces from the Collection of S.I. Newhouse. Christie’s New York.