A catalog documenting an exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, New York, in 2013. It includes several bodies of recent work, including Antiquity paintings, Venus sculptures, and work from the renowned Hulk Elvis and Celebration series, the latter of which Koons has been working on for twenty years. With sources as diverse as children’s art, comic-book characters, and figures from classical antiquity, Koons continues to draw a common thread through cultural history, creating works that attempt to touch the core of the human psyche. Working through conceptual constructs including the new, the banal, and the sublime, he has taken his work from its literal, deadpan beginnings in ready-mades to baroque creations that extol innocence, beauty, sexuality, and happiness in confounding combinations of abstraction, figuration, sumptuous effect, and pure spectacle.In the newest series of work, the Antiquity (2009–13) series, the paintings pulse with complex layerings of image, reference, and chromatic nuance as Koons explores the historical oscillation of form in painting and sculpture. Two outsized Venus sculptures in mirror-polished stainless steel are the first sculptures to be completed in this series; one is Koons’ interpretation of one of the world’s earliest known sculptures, the Venus of Willendorf. The book includes 39 full-color plates, as well as installation photos and a fully illustrated index.
About The Author
Norman Rosenthal is an independent curator and art historian. He was Exhibitions Secretary of the Royal Academy, London, from 1977 to 2008.