Jeff Koons: Gazing Ball
This volume documents Jeff Koons' (born 1955) major 2013 exhibition at David Zwirner, in which he debuted his Gazing Ball series. The title originates from the mirrored ornaments frequently found on lawns in residential neighborhoods, including around Koons' childhood home in Pennsylvania. In these works, blue gazing balls, hand blown from glass, have been placed on white plaster sculptures depicting signature examples of antique statues from the Greco-Roman era, including the Farnese Hercules and the Esquiline Venus, along with everyday utilitarian objects encountered in today's suburban landscape, such as rustic mailboxes, a birdbath and an inflatable snowman typically seen outside during Christmas. As Francesco Bonami notes in his catalogue essay, "while all of the sculptures are grounded in their own distinct narratives, derived from art history and suburban towns, the seemingly fragile and delicate gazing ball establishes that sense of uncertain equilibrium that exists between history and fantasy, magic and materiality, mass culture and exclusive beauty." Created in close collaboration with Koons, this elegant publication, which echoes the classic design of a 1970 Picasso catalogue admired by the artist, is the first to survey these works. Exquisitely produced color plates capture the stark contrast between the pristine whiteness of the plaster sculptures and the highly reflective spheres.