Whitney Museum set to Open on Mondays for Koons Retrospective

A bright, colorful large sculpture of play-doh by artist Jeff Koons at his retrospective at the Whitney Museum.

Way to go out with a bang, Upper East Side Whitney. For its final exhibition in the iconic, modernist Madison Avenue building that's been its home since 1966, the Whitney gives us a true blockbuster, filling nearly the entire space with one of the most crowd-pleasing, successful and, perhaps for those very reasons, polarizing American artists of his generation, Jeff Koons. This is Koons's first-ever retrospective in New York City, it's the first time (and, by default, also the last) the Whitney has ever given over all of its galleries to a single artist.


The Whitney Museum – Open Mondays!

Every Jeff Koons sub-genre is on display at the Whitney retrospective, along with plenty of periods you've either never witnessed or forgot about. There are several of his big shiny balloon animals here, as well as the cheap-plastic-toy-looking Gorilla and a fun version of the Hulk encased in an organ, pedals and pipes included. There are Koons's horribly gaudy table sculptures from his Banality series, including the vaguely unsettling String of Dogs and one of his most famous works, Michael Jackson and Bubbles. And there his porno shots, starring himself (of course) and his wife at the time, Ilona Staller.  The landmark exhibition has become so popular that the museum has struggled to keep up with its demand. Their solution? To start opening their doors on Mondays – a day the museum is normally closed – just to accomodate weekenders looking to visit the wildly entertaining show.

A musuem-goer looking at a piece of Jeff Koons' artwork hanging in the Whitney Museum

Camera-Friendly and Kid-Approved

I enjoyed myself quite a bit throughout this massive show, and the museum, and Koons, have smartly allowed photography in all of the galleries (much to the relief of the security guards, who otherwise would have to spend their entire day scolding guests), so amusing photo-ops abound. The camera-friendly exhibition, generously stocked with over 120 pieces, is at the least amusing and occasionally amazing, with a couple of smiles guaranteed. Really, it's such a pleasure to see so many people having so much straight-up fun at an art exhibition. 

A young boy stands next to a large gorilla sculpture by artist Jeff Koons

Amazing & Amusing Artwork

It's all enormously engaging, but my favorite parts of Whitney's Jeff Koons Retrospective would likely include the giant pile of colorful Play-Doh, the vacuum cleaners encased with fluorescent lights–his The New series–and his collage-y Easy Fun-Ethereal oil paintings, with theme-appropriate names like Sandwich and Lips. The Koons Retrospective will be at the Whitney through October, as will huge crowds, but my suggestion is to go during the summer if you can, when so many New Yorkers are away. This is a show you don't want to miss. 

Balding man looking at a sculpture or a  cat in a sock on a clothesline.

For More Information on the Jeff Koons Retrospective

The Jeff Koons Retrospective will be at  through October 19. The Whitney is open Mondays Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Fridaynd Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Monday (Starting September 1st) . Admission is "pay-what-you-wish" on Fridays from 6:00 to 9:00, and the msueum is closed on Tuesdays. For lots more information, Click to check out more information on the Whitney Museum

Posted in NYC Events, Upper East Side | Tagged