Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre1 Harbour RoadHong Kong
David Zwirner is pleased to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong for its sixth consecutive year, and will feature five recent works by Jeff Koons, who will be present at the fair with the gallery. Koons’s attendance at David Zwirner’s booth follows those of Luc Tuymans (2017), Michaël Borremans (2016), and Neo Rauch (2015).
Jeff Koons (b. 1955, York, Pennsylvania) is widely regarded for his bold paintings and monumental sculptures that hold a mirror up to contemporary culture. Using the photorealistic and commercial aesthetic familiar from an earlier generation of Pop artists, Koons has generated his own universally recognizable style that frequently comprises smooth, highly reflective surfaces and bright, saturated colors. Koons typically works in series, tapping into subject matter from popular culture and art history that is frequently reminiscent of childhood in order to empower the viewer toward achieving a state of personal transcendence.
On view at David Zwirner’s booth will be Bluebird Planter(2010–2016), a large-scale work in mirror-polished stainless steel. Modeled after a small decorative ceramic planter, the sculpture features live flowering plants whose bright, natural colors contrast with the highly reflective surface. Also executed in mirror-polished stainless steel, Swan (Inflatable) (2011–2015) is a prime example of Koons’s broader engagement with inflatable forms and materiality, specifically children’s pool toys. Despite the solidity of the material, Swan (Inflatable) appears inflated, with tiny creases and folds creating a trompe l’oeil effect that heightens its hyper-realistic appearance.
Three works from Koons’s Gazing Ball series will also be on view. Begun in 2013, the series engages and disrupts a number of art-historical tenets, including notions of originality, iconography, and the gaze, while also echoing the artist’s ongoing dialogue concerning transcendence and self-acceptance. The series takes as its point of departure the mirrored gazing ball, a popular yard ornament commonly found in the area around the artist’s childhood home in Pennsylvania. Handmade by artisans in reflective blue glass, the gazing balls are positioned by Koons on pristine white plaster casts, which appropriate as subject matter recognizable motifs ranging from antique statues to everyday objects, or centrally placed within hand-painted reproductions of masterpieces of Western European painting.
Included in the booth will be Gazing Ball (Tintoretto The Origin of the Milky Way) (2016), which references Tintoretto’s late Renaissance painting depicting the formation of the Milky Way according to Byzantine mythology; Gazing Ball (Rembrandt Self-Portrait Wearing a Hat) (2015), featuring the seventeenth-century Dutch master’s 1642–1643 painting Self-Portrait Wearing a Hat and Two Chains; and Gazing Ball (Crouching Venus) (2013), based on a plaster cast of an example of a Roman statue from the first or second century AD, which itself was modeled after a (lost) Hellenistic original from the third century BC.
Concurrent with Art Basel Hong Kong, David Zwirner will also present a special online Viewing Room featuring a selection of prints that span the artist’s influential career and some of his most iconic subject matter.
In January 2018, David Zwirner opened its first Hong Kong gallery with the inaugural exhibition Michaël Borremans: Fire from the Sun, featuring new works by the Belgian painter. With interiors by New York–based architect Annabelle Selldorf, the new gallery consists of 10,000 square feet on two floors of H Queen’s, located in the city’s Central district. The second exhibition at David Zwirner Hong Kong will be by German artist Wolfgang Tillmans, opening March 26, 2018.