Pop Life: Art in a Material World
1 October – 17 January 2010
To celebrate the opening of Tate Modern’s major autumn exhibition Pop Life: Art in a Material World, a giant 53 foot (16 metre) helium balloon by Jeff Koons is unveiled today at Covent Garden. It is the first time that Koons’s Rabbit balloon has been shown in the UK and its residency in the Market Building marks a new relationship between Covent Garden and Tate Modern.
Jeff Koons created the large-scale silver balloon for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2007 in New York. He modelled it on his iconic metre-high stainless steel sculpture Rabbit 1986. The silver rabbit was floated down the streets of Broadway through the crowds to celebrate the occasion. Both the original sculpture and a film of the balloon in Macy’s Day Parade are included in Pop Life: Art in a Material World.
Jeff Koons started creating sculptures using inflatable toys in the 1970s. Taking a readymade inflatable rabbit Koons cast the object in stainless steel, playing on the tension between weight, material, and transcendence, merging high and low culture. Koons’s work draws on a variety of sources often taken from consumer culture.
Rabbit is on display in the South Hall, Market Building, Covent Garden, London. Pop Life: Art in a Material World is on display at Tate Modern from 1 October – 17 January 2010.