How Many Millions Does the Koons Retrospective Add Up to?

You won't believe how much the shiny show is worth!

Jeff Koons, Poodle (1991). Photo: Benjamin Sutton.

Jeff Koons, Poodle (1991).
Photo: Benjamin Sutton.

Before it moves downtown, the Whitney Museum is going out with a bang, putting its resources to the test with a monumental retrospective devoted to Jeff Koons. It seems fitting, considering Koons’s reputation as one of the most expensive living artists, that the 128-piece exhibition should represent an exorbitant sum of money. The team here at artnet News tallied up the total price—give or take a few million where privately sold and just-finished works were involved, of course—of all the pieces in the exhibition. The artworks in the Whitney Museum’s “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective” are worth a cumulative $504,237,005. Using the artnet Price Database, we were able to tally the most recent prices of 68 pieces on view. This includes pieces that went to auction; pieces that were brought to auction but were bought in for one reason or another; and pieces not sold at auction but whose sale prices were mentioned explicitly in reputable news sources. The total value of these works is $174,364,944. Still using the artnet Price Database, we matched the remaining 60 items on view at the Whitney to comparable pieces in the same series (Balloon Dog sculptures in red, rather than yellow, for instance) that went to auction. The combined value of all these comparable works is $329,872,061. Added to the $174,364,944 figure cited above, this brings the total value of the works at the Whitney to $504,237,005.

[artnet Price Database research: Lorraine Rubio]

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