“Jeff Koons: Now”
Newport Street Gallery
London, SE11 6AJ
May 18 – October 16, 2016
The Newport Street Gallery is currently showing a Jeff Koons exhibition that features a number of works previously never seen in the UK. “Jeff Koons: Now,” is the first major British exhibition of Koons since the Serpentine Gallery’s 2009 show, “Jeff Koons: Popeye Series” and illustrates thirty-five years of Koons’ career, starting from 1979, when he worked on Wall Steet and continuing up until the Koons we know today. With more than thirty paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, some of which are from the collection of Damien Hirst, visitors are able to to chart the major artist’s rise, including his unique take on the readymade which stemmed from his idea that “everything already exists in the world.”
Koons is known for many, varying pieces of artwork but arguably the most iconic are his inflatables. “Now” includes one of his earliest vinyl works, 1979’s Inflatable Flowers (Short White, Tall Purple), a blow-up flower. Other early sculptures on display include his Hoover Sculptures, unused vacuums elevated to art status through the use of plexi-glass display enclosures. Two that are included in “Now” were first shown at The New Museum in New York in 1980 as part of Koons’ first solo show. Fairly recent work in the exhibition sees Koons circle back to the inflatables but with a modern material update. Cartoon-esque works from the early 2000s, such as Balloon Monkey (Blue), resemble his early vinyl pieces but are made in stainless steel instead of fragile plastic, illustrating how Koons’ responds to contemporary aesthetics.
“Jeff Koons: Now” makes use of all six of Newport Street’s large galleries and is running through October 16th.