In 1987, under the leadership of the great Walter Hopps, director of the Menil Collection in Houston, Centre Pompidou met in a group exhibition under alluring - "Brokers of desire" - five artists, including a young man of thirty-two years, delighted participation: Jeff Koons . In 2000, a group exhibition entitled "Beyond the show," I invited the Centre Pompidou, with the complicity of no less great Philippe Vergne, a mature man of forty-five, always delighted to intervene Jeff Koons. Today, the institution dedicated, led by Scott Rothkopf and I, a mature man of fifty-eight, even more delighted with this retrospective: Jeff Koons. Twenty-seven years have passed since Rabbit s 'has come to the Centre Pompidou and is - unfortunately - left. The author of the famous balloon stainless steel has become one of the most famous and controversial artists of the contemporary art scene. One of those on which the harshest sentences are going well, to the point that you wonder if it's still the work he is judging or the mythology of a man who became a character.
This retrospective intends to review an undeniable "masterpiece", now inseparable from the one who fashioned.Because the draft Jeff Koons is primarily commentary, history and an American dream. A pragmatic and resolutely positive work, a joyful challenge in a world of ups and downs, certainly a playful vision, but more subversive than it appears and that its author is careful to say. Intimately related to his practice, Jeff Koons will, over some thirty-five years, more than once hit the headlines. First decidedly childish objects with archetypal figures in polychrome steel standing in public institutions and private foundations, advertising images metamorphosed into paintings with corporate gifts become the trophies of the best auctions, advertisements for "master classes" gratified to attentive children in art magazines with pornographic images flesh, for the artist, "love and spirituality," Koons's work never ceased to challenge the judgment and taste and stimulate the desire for assert its iconic and symbolic value.
It was the first European retrospective at the Centre Pompidou to judge submissions. It should show the visitor that the artist has continued, over an obsessive work, associating craftsmen and manufacturers to achieve technically still more ambitious pieces. First assemblies seeking a synthesis between pop and minimalism with plaster casts ornate decorations for parks and gardens, Koons wanted to register his project series wire whose subjects spoke to all in an attempt to reconcile the modern art and popular culture in a celebration of opposites together at last.
Because the goal of the artist is to size. And not just huge. Although Koons, we know, does not disdain the physical weight, symbolic and majestic monument. His ambition is, in fact, to find fault with the paradoxes of a theoretical discourse that will, in the course of modernity, often found justification in the opposition believed that it will have with power. This is a challenge for Koons or rollover.
Several decades have passed. America has been shaken and Jeff Koons seems to have kept an irremediable optimism.Integrity and authenticity, self-acceptance and dialogue, trust and responsibility: There probably in the practice of Jeff Koons of Dale Carnegie and his method "to make friends and influence people." And if the promise of happiness so often faulted was to be fulfilled, it is not impossible that our artist wants to be the bearer. Enjoy!
Blistène Bernard , director of the National Museum of Modern Art