Jeff Koons’s Louvre Show Cancelled—Good

Jeff Koons  Photo: Patrick McMullan

Jeff Koons
Photo: Patrick McMullan

Jeff Koons’s Paris outing has turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. This January, the artist was due to show a selection of large-scale sculptures in the Louvre’s 19th-century galleries, to complement his current retrospective at the Centre Pompidou (which runs until April 27).

But the show has fallen through. A Centre Pompidou spokesman involved in the Louvre display said that the cancellation was due to “a lack of funding.” Thats no surprise given that Koons is notorious for proposing ridiculously expensive installations for museum shows only to find they can’t be funded: remember the real locomotive suspended from a crane that he proposed for a public artwork on the plaza outside LACMA in Los Angeles? The price tag on that was too much for anyone to agree too.

Koons’s time in Paris hasn’t been short of controversy.

Last December, only a few weeks after the opening of his Pompidou retrospective (which toured from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York), the artist was accused of plagiarism by adman Franck Davidovici (see Jeff Koons Sued for Plagiarism). A second plagiarism claim followed shortly after, related to a work from the same “Banality” series (see Second Plagiarism Claim Against Jeff Koons in Two Weeks). This isn’t the first time Koons has been accused of stealing other people’s ideas, either. He’s made a career of it, sort of.

Davidovici filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement in January (see Jeff Koons Plagiarism Lawsuit Could Top Millions). And, looking at the legal precedents here, things aren’t exactly promising for the artist: he has already lost two copyright cases brought against him for works from the same series.

For more Jeff Koons coverage, see Jeff Koons as the Art World’s Great White Hope, The Wisdom of Jeff Koons in 6 Easy Quotes, and Our Favorite Art Essay of 2014: Jed Perl’s Savaging of Jeff Koons in which the critic savages the artist’s Whitney Museum retrospective. It is about time somebody called Koons out for what he is–a circus showman peddling over-blown, over-priced tourist souvenirs.

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