"The New: Jeff Koons"
May 29 - June 19 1980
“In The New, Jeff Koons concentrates on the ‘newness’ of everyday household appliances, here, vacuum cleaners, by presenting them in a new context. He attaches the appliances to Plexiglas display cases which enclose fluorescent lights. His oversized sign ‘The New’ visually stresses his brand new items, and comments on our consumer-oriented society.”
-From The New Museum Press Release
The New, the first solo presentation of the work of Jeff Koons, is a series of Hoover floor polishers and vacuum cleaners installed in the window of The New Museum at 65 5th Avenue. Lit by harsh fluorescent bulbs, the window could easily be mistaken for a commercial appliance store display, rather than and art installation. This paradox of the aesthetics of high and low is at the core of Koons’ work; he shows us the fine line between the exaltation of the art object and that of consumer goods. In Koons’ hands the fresh out of the box vacuum cleaner becomes a sculptural object, admired for its pristine condition as much as its formalistic beauty. It is a commentary on the obsession with novelty and the fetishization of the image of domestic perfection.
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum Archive