Jeff Koons in Florence

For the first time, in nearly five centuries after the Hercules and Cacchus by Baccio Bandinelli (1493-1560) was put into place, an original sculpture of remarkable dimensions will be placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio. It is Pluto and Proserpina by Jeff Koons (1955), a monumental work measuring over 3 meters. An extraordinary event inaugurating the project In Florence, an ambitious and innovative plan providing for a meeting between the artistic protagonists of our time and Florentine Renaissance spaces and works.


Jeff Koons In Florence, an eagerly anticipated exhibition of the year explores the relationship between the provoking beauty of the works by the brilliant American artist and the timeless masterpieces by Donatello (1386-1466) and Michelangelo (1475-1564). The locations chosen for such a juxtaposition are the Room of the Lilies in Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria. This exhibitions is made possible thanks to contributions by Fabrizio Moretti, new Maecenas of Florence and contemporary art, internationally well known as an old master paintings dealer.


Palazzo Vecchio will host Gazing Ball (Barberini Faun), a work created in 2013 belonging to Koons’s series called Gazing Ball, which features plaster casts of famous sculptures of the Greco-Roman period, as well as everyday objects encountered in the suburban landscape, each affixed with a bright blue reflective glass sphere. A sophisticated and seductive conceptual act of art takes place with the artwork in this series, for they, overturn and divert the gaze of the observer from the admiration of the classical piece or traditional object, and create a memorable image of pure perfection. The environment as a whole, including the observers themselves and the various elements of their surroundings, become a part of the artwork itself. Koons’s Gazing Ball works plays with the seductive nature  of the plaster cast, so pure and rarefied, and the mysterious magic of the blue gazing ball with its mirrored surface.


The ancient Barberini Faun, (“Uno fauno a sedere più grande del naturale quale sta dormendo e tiene un braccio in testa” Archivio Barberini, Roma, 1632), is a  sculpture of the imperial age probably inspired by a bronze of the Greek Hellenistic period discovered in Rome in the moat surrounding Castel Sant’Angelo around 1624. Four years later it entered the Cardinal Francesco Barberini’s collection and then reached Germany at the beginning of the nineteenth century (now to be found in the Glyptotheque in Munich). Some restoration on the work was carried out either by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) or possibly by his workshop.




Florence, piazza della Signoria
September 25 - December 28


Promoted by  
Comune di Firenze
In collaboration with 
Biennale Internazionale di Antiquariato di Firenze
Main sponsor: Moretti Gallery
With the contribution of Camera di Commericio, David Zwirner 
Organized by Associazione Mus.e
September 20, 2015