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Gagosian Publishes Definitive Survey of Jeff Koons’s Hulk Elvis Paintings

Gagosian Gallery has published a new book featuring the work by Jeff Koons. This recent publication features Jeff Koons’ painting series, Hulk Elvis, in which he creates large works of the Incredible Hulk, inflatable monkeys, geishas, birds, and the Liberty Bell, all bursting with energy and precision.

Jeff KoonsThese spectacular pictorial inventions of brightly-colored silhouettes loom and recede in the swirling delirium of color and line, creating visceral manifestations that dazzle the eye and confound the senses. A text by Scott Rothkopf and an interview between the artist and Hans Ulrich Obrist are included in this fully illustrated catalogue.

From the outset of his controversial career, Jeff Koons turned the traditional notion of the work of art and its context inside out. Focusing on unexpected yet banal objects as models for his work, he eschewed typical standards of “good taste” in art, instead embracing what he perceives as conventional middle-class values in order to expose the vulnerabilities of aesthetic hierarchies and value systems. Koons’s declared strategies are to make art beautiful, to strive for objectivity, to give back the familiar, and to reflect, and thus empower, the viewer. The works of Koons’s series Hulk Elvis burst with energy and precision yet mystify with their complex permutations and combinations of figurative and abstract elements. A charged mix of inflatable monkeys, geishas, birds, the Incredible Hulk, and the Liberty Bell jostle against realistically rendered landscapes, gestural paintings, steam engines and horse-drawn carriages, negative silhouettes, and underlying dot screens.

Jeff Koons was born in 1955 in York , Pennsylvania . He received his B.F.A. at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been widely exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo shows include the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (2003), the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art , Oslo (2004), which traveled to the Helsinki City Art Museum (2005); Museum of Contemporary Art , Chicago (2008); “Jeff Koons: Versailles “, Chateâu de Versailles , France (2008); and the Neuer Nationalgalerie Berlin (2008–9). Koons lives and works in New York City .

Image: The book is available at Gagosian Shop. © Jeff Koons. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York. Photography by Robert McKeever

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