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Koons’s Retrospective to Skip Los Angeles’ MOCA

Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons, whose sculptures frequently fetch millions at auction. The artist's career retrospective will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art in June, 2014. Source: Schirn Kunsthalle via Bloomberg

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- A major retrospective of Jeff Koons, the highest-priced living U.S. artist, won’t be seen in Los Angeles next year as previously planned.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, whose director, Jeffrey Deitch, resigned last week, was to have been the first of three venues hosting the show marking Koons’s 35-year career. It was scheduled to open there in January 2014.

Instead, the exhibition will open in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 27, 2014, said Stephen Soba, a Whitney spokesman. Soba could not say whether the cancellation was related to the resignation of Deitch, a former gallery owner and longtime patron of Koons.

“It was decided by MOCA and the Whitney that it would be better for an exhibition as complex and ambitious at this one to be developed over a longer period of time,” said Soba. “And that the show should open in June in New York.”

The exhibition will travel to the Pompidou Center in Paris after its New York stint ends on Oct. 19, as planned, Soba said.

Asked if there will be other venues, Soba said, “That’s all, as far as I know.”

Lyn Winter, MOCA spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return calls and emails seeking comment. She later said MOCA still plans to present the Koons exhibition and the opening date is to be confirmed.

Koons’s sculptures fetch millions of dollars at auction and are collected by MOCA’s founding chairman Eli Broad and its trustee Victor Pinchuk. Koons’s stainless steel bouquet of oversize tulips sold for $33.7 million at Christie’s New York in 2012, the artist’s auction record.

Deitch Resigns

Deitch announced his resignation last week, three years into his five-year contract. A Koons champion for years, Deitch helped the artist produce his “Celebration” series and hosted his 50th birthday party in 2005.

The retrospective, organized by Whitney curator Scott Rothkopf, will include more than 100 pieces, covering every series the artist produced. It will spill over four of the five floors in Whitney’s Madison Avenue building, the largest show devoted to a single artist. The museum will move to its new location in the Meatpacking district in 2015.

Muse highlights include Amanda Gordon’s Hamptons Scene.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at kkazakina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net

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