Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery will be hosting an exciting exhibition of ground-breaking work by American artist, Jeff Koons (b. 1955), widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of our time. ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons will be the first time Koons’ work has been shown in East Anglia and is the only chance to see Koons’ work in the UK in 2015.
Representing one of the best Koons collections in the world, the exhibition features key pieces from each of the major series of work that have made him the most expensive living artist on the planet. Throughout his career Koons has pioneered new and imaginative ways of using everyday objects in his work. By combining popular culture with art historical references, and deploying hand crafted techniques with industrial manufacturing, he has tested what an artist can be within a time of ubiquitous celebrity culture. Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp are obvious antecedents to Koons’ artistic practice, but his frank and unashamedly iconic works are distinctively his own, tackling head on the vital questions of art.
This landmark exhibition will showcase Koons’ remarkable career from 1981 – 2003 and will include significant examples from each of the series created during this period: The New, Equilibrium, Banality, Made in Heaven, Easyfun and Popeye. Among the works featured are his breakthrough pieces with vacuum cleaners and basketballs from The New and Equilibrium; Winters Bears (1988) and Art Magazine Ads (1988) from Banality – the series which made Koons the art superstar he is today; a marble portrait bust of Koons and his former wife and adult film star Illona Staller, also known as la Cicciolina, from Made in Heaven, mirrored animal silhouettes from Easyfun as well as his more recent explorations with inflatables cast from aluminium created for his Popeye series.
Together these remarkable works explore many of the key themes of Koons’ career – commerce, class, celebrity and the concept of value. The exhibition will be a highlight of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival (8 - 24 May) – a world class festival of music, visual art, theatre, performance, and literature – and offers a rare opportunity for UK audiences to engage with his work as William Galinsky, Artistic Director of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, explains: "This will be the biggest Jeff Koons exhibition in Britain for a decade and an unmissable opportunity for visitors to see the work of such an important, influential and fun artist,"
The works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its seventh year, is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK in 2015. The tour is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and through the continued support of the Art Fund.
Information on both the ARTIST ROOMS collection and the touring programme can be found at www.artistrooms.org. For further information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit www.artfund.org/artistrooms. To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection please visit www.tate.org.uk/artistrooms and www.nationalgalleries.org/artistrooms