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Koons, Jeff (Artist/Subject) & Various Contributors. JEFF KOONS PICTURES 1980-2002: THE KUNSTHALLE BIELEFELD EXHIBITION CATALOG. New York City, NY: Distributed Art Publishers, 2002. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 120 pages. Fine.

Retrospective exhibition catalog. One of the best books on the art of Jeff Koons. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by DAP: Regular-sized volume format. Glossy pictorial hard boards with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Art and text by Jeff Koons. Curated and edited by Thomas Kellein. Printed on thick, glossy stock paper in Germany to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Published on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition of the same name held at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld Germany from September 22 through November 10, 2002. Presents Jeff Koons' achievement as America's iconic Post-Pop artist. "Focusses primarily on the formation and development of Koons' paintings, but given that he considers his early sculptures to be 'three-dimensional paintings', this limit need hardly be considered medium-restrictive" (Publisher's blurb). Painting is also Koons' direct connection (and debt) to Warhol, who did consider himself primarily a painter. Still, despite the fact that Koons' work is unimaginable without Warhol's ground-breaking example, the comparison with Warhol has its obvious limits. Warhol sought publicity and elevated it to an art form, but his style was relentlessly deadpan. He did not wish to be controversial or provocative at all whereas Koons' art is based entirely on pushing the boundaries of art towards the vulgar, shameless, and exhibitionistic. Koons superseded Warhol by turning Warhol's "cool" aesthetic into something "hotter": More fun and even more outrageous. He also hijacked the "camp" sensibility by giving it a distinctly heterosexual slant. This is why, for better or for worse, "Made In Heaven", a series of full-color photographs, installations, and multi-media sculptures of himself performing every conceivable sex act with his then-wife, Ilona Staller, the Italian star known as "Cicciolina", will always be regarded as his most daring, and most inevitable, gesture. Koons' worldview is simplicity itself: Art is the highest form of fun. This profoundly American sentiment is neatly summed up in his repudiation of the high-minded European conception of art: "My work is a support system for people to feel good about themselves" (Jeff Koons). A "must-have" title for Jeff Koons collectors. This title is now collectible. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Most copies available online have major flaws or are subsequent printings. A very scarce copy thus. 100 color plates. One of the most important and most influential artists of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JEFF KOONS TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1891024612. $70.00

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