36 Straight Hours of Koons Will Mark Whitney Closing

Installation view of Michael Jackson and Bubbles in "Jeff Koons: A Retrospective" at the Whitney.
Photo: Benjamin Sutton.

If you thought the onset of fall and the rapidly approaching October 19 closure of the blockbuster Jeff Koons retrospective at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art meant the time of Koonsmania had safely passed, think again! As reported by the New York Times, the museum will end things with a bang, hosting a 36-hour-long Koonsathon, staying open from 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 18, through 11 p.m. the next day.

The Koons exhibition’s end means not only goodbye to the artist’s Play-Doh monument and pornographic photographs, but to the institution’s historic Marcel Breuer-designed building, as the museum abandons the Upper East Side for trendy Meatpacking District digs at the base of the High Line (see “New Whitney Ready to Take on MoMA“).

The new Whitney will open in the spring, while the old headquarters will be taken over by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is leasing the 75th Street space as satellite contemporary art galleries during the upcoming renovation of its modern and contemporary art wing (see “Gut Renovation for the Met’s Modern and Contemporary Wing“). The Met’s lease begins in spring of 2016 and runs through 2023.

More than 250,000 people have already visited the Koons retrospective, but given the popularity of the exhibition coupled with the fact that it will be the last chance to see the Whitney in its current home, the overnight hours seem destined to draw huge crowds and around-the-block lines.

Programming will include tours from curators, family events beginning 8 a.m. on Sunday, and the around-the-clock opportunity to dine at Danny Meyer’s Untitled. To check out the expected madness, it seems wise to invest in advance tickets.

Whitney director Adam D. Weinberg told the Times that Koons might even make an in-person cameo, stopping by in the wee hours of the morning to offer autographs. “This will not only give more people an opportunity to see the Koons retrospective, it’s also a chance for some to say goodbye to the Breuer building as it was,” he added.

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