• Post-War and Contemporary Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 2442

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Featuring Property from an Important Private European Collection Afternoon Session

    12 May 2011, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 373

    Jeff Koons (b. 1955)

    Board Room

    Price Realised  


    Jeff Koons (b. 1955)
    Board Room
    framed Nike poster
    32 x 47 in. (81.2 x 119.3 cm.)
    Executed in 1985. This work is number two from an edition of two; the other in the Chase Manhattan Corporate Collection. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

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    Board Room, first exhibited in 1985 at the East Village gallery, International With Monument is from Jeff Koons' Equilibrium series, which Koons himself considers both a "triology and a trinity." Next to the basketballs submerged in aquariums (the embryonic state) and the bronze life vests and floatation devices (death as the final state of being), Koons hung a series of advertising posters presented as a metaphor for humanity and society. Here, Koons appropriates the power of the advertisement as the crux of living in its ability to cast a spell on the public through an orchestrated illustration of success.
    Formally posed and situated at a long table on a basketball court which has been dubbed "The Board Room," the artists' choices foreground the way that these almost exclusively black athletes are cast not just as stars, but in roles whose claim to power reflect a traditional social system that historically denied power or respect to most African-Americans.

    "[The posters] made clear the notion that basketball was not simply an activity that we had passed by with the increasing years but rather a part of life that had changed irrevocably in its essence and its meaning, a part of life that had lost its innocence, as it were, and had become available only to players unlike ourselves. In Board Room we confront twenty-eight men, twenty-five of whom are black, posed in dark business suits as if for a corporate portrait around a table located incongruously on a basketball court" (J. Caldwell, Jeff Koons, exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1992, pp. 9-10).

    Like a skilled executive, for the past four decades, Jeff Koons synthesizes knowledge and technological content. By shaking up accepted conventions and working practices, the artist provokes viewer reactions, new ideas and sensations traditionally outside the realm of the artist. "With Koons, we venture into the realm of high fidelity, the obscene tautology of the real, which transcends itself" (E. Cicelyn, Jeff Koons, exh. cat. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, 2003, p. 18).


    International with Monument Gallery, New York


    P. Halley, Beyond Boundries: New York's New Art, New York, 1987 (illustrated on the back cover).
    A. Muthesius, ed., Jeff Koons, Cologne 1992, p. 60, (illustrated).
    E. Russell, Photoplay, exh. cat., Miami: Center for the Arts, The Chase Manhattan Corporation, 1993, pp. 98-99.
    H. Holzwarth, ed., Jeff Koons, Cologne, 2009, p. 158 (illustrated).


    New York, International with Monument Gallery and Chicago, Feature Gallery, Equilibrium, 1985.
    Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeff Koons, July-August 1988, p. 25, no. 14 (illustrated).
    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Jeff Koons, December 1992-February 1993, p. 10.
    Istanbul, Pera Museum and Dubai, Emperor's Hall at the Dubai International Financial Centre, Collected Visions: Modern and Contemporary Works from the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, October 2007-May 2008 (another example exhibited).