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"Jeff Koons: Shine" at Palazzo Strozzi

Jeff Koons Shines at Palazzo Strozzi

Pearl Fontaine

1 November 2021

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy is presenting a major presentation of the artist Jeff Koons titled “Shine,” open through January 30, 2022. In the exhibition, viewers will find the artist’s most renowned works displayed within the historic Renaissance structure’s stone pillars and archways, featuring a selection dating from the 1970s to today.

A pillar of American contemporary art, Koons’s work treats art as a microcosm of community and society. Often utilizing mirrored elements and materials, the works urge viewers to observe themselves and their surroundings. With this show, spanning more than 40 years of Koons’s career, guests can find themselves gazing into the many reflective surfaces of his iconic artworks, experiencing feelings of affirmation or contemplating ideas of what actually constitutes as art.

Installation view, “Jeff Koons: Shine” at Palazzo Strozzi; © Jeff Koons, Photo by Ela Bialkowska, courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi.

“For the very first time in this exhibition we are exploring a unique and characteristic aspect of Koons’s art, namely the reflective and luminous quality of his work. Shine, the word that gives the exhibition its title, is the key principle in the sculptures and paintings on display in the setting of Palazzo Strozzi’s austere 15th century architecture, in what is an essential dialogue between the artworks’ Platonic forms and the ‘golden rule’ of a perfect showcase for them,” said Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Director General and the exhibition’s co-curator, Arturo Galansino. “Producing one of Jeff Koons’s most important exhibitions in Florence means interpreting the city as a modern cultural capital capable of playing an active part in the artistic avant-garde of our time.”

Installation view, “Jeff Koons: Shine” at Palazzo Strozzi; © Jeff Koons, Photo by Ela Bialkowska, courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi.

Featured works include the ever-recognizable Balloon Dog (Red), the stone figure holding a shiny blue ball Gazing Ball (Apollo Lykeios), and the monumental Balloon Monkey (Blue), which resides in the center of the museum’s skylit atrium. Other works of note on view include a spin on Peter Paul Rubens’s painting Gazing Ball (Rubens Tiger Hunt), the gravity-defying Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), and the Nelson Automatic Cooker / Deep Fryer, which presents as a kitchen appliance mounted atop two vertical fluorescent lights.

Installation view, “Jeff Koons: Shine” at Palazzo Strozzi; © Jeff Koons, Photo by Ela Bialkowska, courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi.

Installation view, “Jeff Koons: Shine” at Palazzo Strozzi; © Jeff Koons, Photo by Ela Bialkowska, courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi.

Installation view, “Jeff Koons: Shine” at Palazzo Strozzi; © Jeff Koons, Photo by Ela Bialkowska, courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi.

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THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

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