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Press Release

Art Intelligence Global is honored to present “JEFF KOONS: 1979-1999” from March 23 to April 26 in our Hong Kong exhibition space. The exhibition examines the earliest period of Jeff Koons’s practice, revisiting seminal pieces spanning the Inflatables, Pre-New, Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Made in Heaven, and Easyfun series. With the majority of works to be shown in Asia for the very first time, “JEFF KOONS: 1979-1999” presents an overview of the two important decades during which he made his immediate and indelible mark on art history and culture.  

Jeff Koons: The First Two Decades

Born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania, Jeff Koons studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, graduating with a BFA from the latter in 1976. Moving to New York in 1977, Koons worked at the membership desk at the Museum of Modern Art and in parallel commenced what would become his first formal series, the Inflatables. In 1979, he departed from his job at the Museum of Modern Art and sold stocks to finance his artistic production; in the following year, his first solo exhibition “The New” was held at New Museum, New York. Over the ensuing two decades, Koons rose swiftly to worldwide prominence with bold, ingenious and instantly recognizable works that redefined art in a hyper-consumerist, media-saturated world. 

“JEFF KOONS: 1979-1999” at Art Intelligence Global

Within the period in focus, Koons created 10 series, seven of which are included in in “JEFF KOONS: 1979-1999”. Beginning with the readymade-inspired Inflatables (1978-1979), Koons moved on to Pre-New (1979-1980), introducing themes that would preoccupy him throughout his career: desire, the relationships between art, object, and viewer, and the elevating of the everyday into the sublime. In Equilibrium (1983-1993), Koons explores aspirations and social mobility, meditating on the balance between dreams and existential reality. Statuary (1986) alchemizes the common into the extraordinary and vice versa with high-shine objects of appeal that reflect our desire back to us, while Banality (1988) revels in the seductive allure of the ordinary and familiar, abolishing judgment and hierarchy of taste. Made in Heaven (1989-1991) extends the philosophy in Banality towards sex, attempting to neutralize the shame and guilt surrounding our biological, bodily desires, while Easyfun (1999-2000) spotlights the role of desire in consumer-culture America, holding up a mirror to contemporary culture. 

Seminal Early Works Shown for the First Time in Asia

As a significant overview of the first twenty years of Koons’s career, “JEFF KOONS: 1979-1999” features some of the artist’s most iconic and definitive works. Assembled from prominent private collections, the majority of works on view are being shown in Asia for the very first time, after decades of extensive touring across prestigious institutions and historical locations around the world. 

Jeff Koons says: “I am delighted to be the subject of this upcoming exhibition in Hong Kong, as this will be a survey of works that I am very proud to show in Asia. I have always been inspired by Eastern culture and philosophy and have desired to find a oneness within my work through the incorporation of Eastern beliefs and knowledge. The works highlight universal qualities that are in both Eastern and Western culture, such as the power of acceptance through the removal of judgment.”

JEFF KOONS: 1979-1999

23 March – 26 April 2024
Hong Kong
Installation Views
Individual Works
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