Florence, 28th October 2021. The opening weeks of JEFF KOONS’ SHINE exhibition are already sold out. Open until 30th January 2022, the exhibition takes place inside the austere rooms and the monumental courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi, showcasing the most iconic works by the most paid, loved, and controversial living artist in over 40 years of career.
While institutions are developing a strong debate on the birth of a new Renaissance, once again Florence turns out to be an increasingly attractive and magnetic city in terms of contemporaneity, able to attract a younger, more aware and passionate audience; a city – as stated by Arturo Galansino, Director of Palazzo Strozzi and curator of the exhibition along with Joachim Pissarro – “which is able to take part actively into the artistic avant-garde of our time”. Developed through an intimate dialogue with the artist, this exhibition benefits from major loans coming from the most important collections and international museums and questions the concept of SHINE intended as a concrete, tangible, and metaphysical shine, as an ambiguous game between splendour and glow, and between being and appearing.
The exhibition boasts several cultural references, and hints of past artists who inspired Koons, such as Masaccio, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Bernini, Poussin, Manet, but also Duchamp, Dalí, Andy Warhol, about whom he noted: “We are very different from each other, we have different personalities, but we have both worked on the idea that everything is beautiful for what it is. And on dismantling prejudices – this is probably what we really have in common”.
On show, some of his most famous sculptures in shiny metal, which ironically replicate luxury objects, such as the Baccarat Crystal Set (1986) or the iconic inflatable toys such as the Rabbit (1986) and Balloon Dog (Red) (1994-2000),or reinterpret characters from pop culture such as Hulk (Tubas) (2004-2008). Characterised by reflective properties, the works by Koons – born in York, Pennsylvania, in 1955 – aim at increasing our metaphysical perception of time and space, of surface and depth, materiality and immateriality.
The exhibition is promoted and organised by Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. Supporters: Municipality of Florence, Region of Tuscany, Chamber of Commerce of Florence, Fondazione CR Firenze, Committee of Palazzo Strozzi’s Partners. Media Partners: Intesa Sanpaolo.