Can Jeff Koons Revitalize Italy’s Oldest Art Fair?

Jeff Koons is ready to take Florence by storm.

Organizers hope Jeff Koons can attract a new generation of collectors to the art and antiques fair. Photo: AP via Page Six
Sculptures of David and Hercules killing Cacus outside the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. Photo: caftours.com

Sculptures of David and Hercules killing Cacus outside the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.
Photo: caftours.com

Italy’s oldest trade fair for art and antiquities, the Biennale Internazionale dell’Antiquariato di Firenze will be opened by Jeff Koons this year, indicating that the antiques fair is looking to rebrand itself.

According to Neue Zürcher Zeitungthe appointment of Fabrizio Moretti—an antiquities dealer and medieval art expert who operates galleries in London and New York—as director of the fair also indicates that trade show is looking to adopt a more international outlook.

Coinciding with the start of the fair on September 25, the city will unveil Koons’ Pluto and Proserpina (2010-2013) in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence’s town hall and civic museum, the Art Newspaper reported.

Jeff Koons Pluto and Proserpina (2010-13) Photo: oceanabalharbour.com

Jeff Koons Pluto and Proserpina (2010-13)
Photo: oceanabalharbour.com

The 11 feet tall stainless steel sculpture will stand in stark contrast to the Piazza della Signoria’s Renaissance sculptures, which include a replica of Michelangelo’s David (1501-04)

Inside the town hall—which also serves as Florence’s civic museum—Koons’ Gazing Ball (Barberini Faun) (2013), from the artist’s series of Greco-Roman inspired sculptures, will be erected alongside Donatello’s bronze depiction of Judith and Holofernes (ca. 1457-64).

Organizers hope Jeff Koons can attract a new generation of collectors to the art and antiques fair. Photo: AP via Page Six

Organizers hope Jeff Koons can attract a new generation of collectors to the art and antiques fair.
Photo: AP via Page Six

In addition, the Galleria dell’Academia, home of the original David, is organizing a show—slated to open in June 2016—where works by Italian Old Masters will be displayed alongside works by contemporary artists, including Koons, Marina Abramović, Maurizio Cattelan, Damien Hirst, Richard Price, Gerhard Richter, and Cindy Sherman.

Related stories:

Jeff Koons as the Art World’s Great White Hope

Jeff Koons Triples Production Capacity at His Giant Stone-Cutting Facility, Antiquity Stone, in Pennsylvania

Jeff Koons Talks Creativity, the Market, and Cicciolina


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