Love him or hate him, controversial Jeff Koons is the marmite of the art world.
But in a major coup to the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford, he has agreed to a rare UK museum show – Koons’ first public institution showing in over a decade.
Alexander Sturgis, the museum’s director, said it was students who helped persuade Koons to the rare showing. Members of Oxford University’s Edgar Wind Society spoke with the artist after presenting him with first prize in their contemporary art show.
The American artist said he hoped the exhibition would create a “dialogue” with visitors to the Oxford museum.
The Ashmolean, the world’s oldest public museum, will host the mini-retrospective featuring 17 major works, dating from the 1980s to the present day.
The exhibition includes 14 pieces that have never been seen in the UK before. Co-curated by Koons himself alongside Norman Rosenthal, the show features some of his well-known series Equilibrium, Banality, Antiquity and the more recent Gazing Ball works and Seated Ballerina.
The boundary-pushing artist made his name through the unique use of ready-made and found objects in his work. As well as the appropriation of popular imagery in works such as One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Spalding Dr. J 241 Series) (1985), Rabbit (1986), and Ushering in Banality (1988).
His huge floral sculpture Puppy sits faithfully outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain in a permanent attraction.
The Jeff Koons exhibition runs from the 7 February – 9 June 2019 https://www.ashmolean.org/jeffkoons