Jeff Koons exhibition at Oxford’s Ashmolean

Round & About

A new exhibition by American artist Jeff Koons at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum includes work never seen before in the UK.

A new exhibition which provokes a conversation between the artist’s work and the history of art is set to be unveiled at the Ashmolean Museum.

The work of American artist Jeff Koons, which is self-curated, will feature 17 important works, 14 of which have never been seen in the UK before.

Since Koons burst on to the contemporary art scene in the 1980s he has been described as important, subversive and controversial, consistently pushing the boundaries of contemporary art.

Director of the Ashmolean, Dr Xa Sturgis says: “In showing Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean, the world’s oldest public museum where the collections range from prehistory to the present, this exhibition will provoke a conversation between his work and the history of art and ideas with which his work engages. I am sure it will also provoke conversations among those who see it.”

Among the pieces on display will be examples from Koons’s most well-known series including Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and the most recent Gazing Ball sculptures and paintings.

His work is exhibited all over the world including at New York’s Rockfeller Center, Guggenheim Bilbao and at the Chateau de Versailles.

The Ashmolean exhibition will include important works from the 1980s with which Koons made his name with pieces such as One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985); Rabbit (1986) and Ushering in Banality (1988).

It will also explore his more recent focus on the meeting of ancient and modern art which come together in his singular vision, with the highlights including Balloon Venus (Magenta) (2008-12) featuring his signature motifs of monumental scale and the mirror-polished surface which positions the viewer in the work.

Ashmolean curator Sir Norman Rosenthal says: “Putting his work in the Ashmolean – the first museum in the very heart of academia, Oxford University – we can take his experiment a step further. For those of us willing to share in his visions, Jeff Koons makes art a magical transformation.”

Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean runs from 7th February to 9th June at the John Sainsbury Exhibition Galleries. Tickets for the show cost £12.25/£11.25 concessions on the door or online.

 For online tickets www.ashmolean.org/jefflkoons

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