* Exhibition is being held at QM Gallery Al Riwaq as part of #QatarCreates 2021 and Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture
Qatar Museums (QM) has opened to the public 'Jeff Koons: Lost in America' at QM Gallery Al Riwaq, the expansive exhibition space located in the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park.
On view through March 31, 2022, and organised by renowned curator Massimiliano Gioni, Koons’ first exhibition in the Gulf region provides a unique view into his exceptional career as one of the best-known contemporary artists, whose work bridges Pop, Minimalism and the readymade, QM has said in a statement.
'Jeff Koons: Lost in America' is part of #QatarCreates 2021, two weeks of cultural exchange, dialogue and collaboration at the forefront of art, architecture, fashion, design and digital culture, as well as the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture, an international cultural exchange designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people.
'Lost in America' presents a portrait of American culture as seen through Koons’ autobiography, beginning with his childhood in suburban Pennsylvania. The exhibition features more than 60 artworks drawn from Koons’ four-decade-long career and is divided into 16 galleries, each introduced by an autobiographical text by the artist, emphasising his memories, influences and fascination with American visual culture. Conceived as an expansive self-portrait, the exhibition also includes sculptures and paintings with mesmerising, mirrored surfaces that reflect the viewers and call attention to notions of self-transformation and becoming, the statement noted.
On the occasion of the opening, 'Jeff Koons: Lost in America' is made accessible beyond the four walls of QM Gallery Al Riwaq through a collaboration between Qatar Museums, Ooredoo Group and Snap Inc, founder of social media platform Snapchat. A selection of artworks will be brought to life using augmented reality (AR) and leveraging the power of 5G connectivity. Snapchat users will be able to view artworks through the app at specific Ooredoo 5G-enabled locations.
Sheikha Reem al-Thani, acting deputy CEO of Exhibitions and Marketing, Qatar Museums, said: “Qatar Museums is pleased to organise and present 'Jeff Koons: Lost in America', providing our community and visitors to Doha with access to Koons' first exhibition in the Gulf region. Part of Qatar Museums' mission is to encourage cultural exchange and dialogue through the presentations of many of the world’s most influential artists. This exhibition - a highlight of Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture - offers a unique view of Koons' artworks that are an often-playful reflection of his observations and commentary on American culture.”
“I am honoured as an American artist to represent my country during the Year of Culture between Qatar and the United States. I have had amazing opportunities over the last two decades to visit Qatar, seeing its sites and cultural institutions and meeting some of its people,” said Koons. “For me, it’s a dream come true for this exhibition to be part of the cultural exchange between Qatar and the United States. I am very grateful to Qatar Museums for inviting me to participate.”
Exhibition curator Gioni, who serves as artistic director of the New Museum in New York, said: “With his aesthetics of plenty and his dreams of transformation and acceptance, Jeff Koons has been creating a strange mirage of America. This will appear even more exciting when seen in Doha against the background of a city that has taken the fascination with the new to vertiginous heights.”
Some of Koons’ best-known works are represented from series such as 'The New' (1980-1987), 'Banality' (1988), 'Celebration' (1994-), 'Popeye' (2002-2013) and 'Antiquity' (2008-), alongside more recent works shown for the first time during this special exhibition. In Koons’ paintings and sculptures, including some of the artist’s most iconic pieces such as 'Rabbit' (1986), 'Balloon Dog (Orange)' (1994-2000) and 'Play-Doh' (1994-2014), everyday objects and industrial materials are transformed into engaging artworks that pose questions about desire and hope, the self and transcendence, individuality and the masses.
Throughout his career, Koons has radically transformed the world of art, forging new relationships between the avant-garde and mass culture, while developing new paradigms for the role of the artist in the age of hyper-communication. He shares a preoccupation with American popular culture with many of his predecessors, who include artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, and with peers such as Robert Gober, Barbara Kruger, Richard Prince, Charles Ray and Cindy Sherman.
Products inspired by 'Jeff Koons: Lost in America' are on sale at the Qatar Museums’ IN-Q gift shop at Al Riwaq and on the IN-Q website: www.inq-online.com
More than 100 items, including apparel, accessories and posters, are available for purchase. Items purchased online are shipped worldwide via DHL.
'Jeff Koons: Lost in America' is sponsored by Qatar Airways, Ooredoo and Katara Hospitality.
The Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture is sponsored by ExxonMobil.
To purchase tickets to 'Jeff Koons: Lost in America', visit www.qm.org.qa
Culture Pass Plus and Culture Family members enjoy complimentary access to the exhibition. Visit www.qm.org.qa/en/culturepass to become part of Qatar's arts and culture community with a full programme of benefits to suit every artistic passion, and the chance to enjoy exclusive and behind-the-scenes access to guided tours, exhibitions, talks and workshops.