Jeff Koons: The Whitney Retrospective (2014)

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The film will be introduced by Vanessa Hoheb

The Whitney Museum of American Art presented the landmark exhibition Jeff Koons: A Retrospective from June 27 to October 19, 2014. It was the largest, most comprehensive survey of Koons’s art ever assembled, spanning four decades of his career and displaying 145 works from every series, including 13 new pieces exhibited publicly for the first time.

The film follows Koons and Whitney Chief Curator, Scott Rothkopf, who conceived and organized the show, through every gallery of the exhibition. In addition, insightful interviews with Adam Weinberg, the Whitney’s Director, Robert Storr, Dean Emeritus of the Yale School of Art, and Michelle Kuo, Editor of Artforum, help to deepen the investigation into Koon’s art and process.

Over the course of Koons’s long career he’s often been called the defining artist of our era. His stainless steel Rabbit, Balloon Dog, and porcelain Michael Jackson and Bubbles have become icons of popular culture. In the words of Whitney Director Adam Weinberg, Koons is “one of the most complex, lauded, criticized, polarizing, fascinating, and singular artists of our time”. He pushes every conceivable boundary and tests the limits of what defines art and the artist.

Bio of Vanessa Hoheb

Vanessa Hoheb’s career in the arts has spanned over four decades. She began her formal apprenticeship in her father’s New York sculpture studio at the age of 16, where she learned the skills of sculpture enlarging, mold making, casting and restoration. The years at Hoheb Studios were filled with the excitement of collaborating with many artists including Jasper Johns, Isamu Noguchi, Louise Nevelson and Willem DeKooning. Later, Vanessa taught mold making and casting at Pratt Institute and then joined the Metropolitan Museum as the Assistant Director of the Reproduction Studio.

In 1984, Ms. Hoheb headed the five-member team responsible for restoring the outer skin of the Statue of Liberty. She made molds of the surface where corrosion had punctured holes in the copper skin in the nose, eyes and hair.

Ms. Hoheb joined Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry in 1999 and for seventeen years was the technical liaison for the sculptors who brought their work there for casting and fabrication.

Vanessa Hoheb established The American Artists’ Hand Archive in 2010 to produce bronze life castings of the hands of the most influential visual artists of our time. The Archive’s mission is to create a comprehensive collection of castings of the hands that have made important contributions to American art.