Jeff Koons is internationally recognized as one of the most significant and influential artists working today. For the past 35 years he has examined the relationship between the art and popular culture, reimagining commonplace subjects such as inflatable toys, commercial imagery, and celebrity kitsch with an ingenious sense of scale, material and craft. Perhaps best known for his public sculptures, Koons has engaged audiences around the globe with his audacious and jubilant outdoor installations. From his legendary Puppy of 1992, which was presented by Public Art Fund in 2000, to his iconic stainless steel sculptures, and new topiary work Split-Rocker, now on view at Rockefeller Center, his monumental works have transformed the landscape of public art for artists and audiences alike. On the occasion of the presentation of Split-Rocker at Rockefeller Center, and his major retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Jeff Koons will present a rare artist talk focused on these recent exhibitions and his work in public space.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. His Celebration sculptures were the subject of exhibitions on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Château de Versailles opened its doors to a living artist for the first time with Jeff Koons: Versailles, where a selection of his work was presented within the Grand Apartments. The Whitney Museum of American Art is presenting the most comprehensive survey of Koons’s career to date, Jeff Koons: A Retrospective (through October 19, 2014), which will also travel to the Pompidou Centre Paris in November, and to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in June 2015.
Jeff Koons (b. York, Pennsylvania, 1955) has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Distinguished Arts Award” from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur; and most recently, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange. Koons has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002, and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children.
The Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.