Jeff Koons’ show at David Zwirner’s and Larry Gagosian NYC is really good. Having prophesised an era of monetised gewgaws as art, Koons rides it high, wide and handsome. Resistance is futile for this guy is already competing with Le Brun and Bernini in places such as the Chateau of Versaille where he did his last big show.
Colossal balloon critters in color-tinted stainless steel astound. Casts in reinforced, titanium-white plaster of classical Greek and Roman sculptures such as the Hercules Farnese, originally at the Baths of Caracalla have been remade in this new super light but harder than stone material. They are both a feat of technology and of presence. Each of this figures is porting a blue ‘gazing ball’ (the mirrored, spherical garden ornamente of Victorian
vintage), charm. With this Koons slaps the Dusseldorf School on the face and says that it is not enough to point out at the fact that the art viewer ‘makes’ the work of art in post minimalist times but the artist must transform the world of art into something more physical which still astounds and comes accross as wondrous. An Argentine that had started doing that in the Venice Biennale a couple of years ago called Adrian Villar Rojas (currently showing at Expo1 in MOMA PS1. See MY REVIEW) dropped that project as soon as the Germanic Serpentine Gallery group started flirting with him. Wrong move! Maybe Jeff Koons can show him the way of physicality and conceptualism in the whole range of its political relevance.
Even Koons’ new big, photomontaga derived paintings are pretty bgood though still marked by an old insensibility in two dimensions that contrasts with his positive genius in three. The sickening raptures of this pair of shows will bookmark our time in history. You must go!
Through June 29 at David Zwirner and Gagosian NYC