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  • Provenance

    Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne
    Sale: Sotheby’s, London, Contemporary Art Evening Sale, June 27, 2001, lot 13
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Kassel, Museum Fridericianum, Schlaf der Vernunft, February – May 1988 (another example exhibited)
    Orange County, Newport Harbor Art Museum, OBJECTives: The New Sculpture, April 8 – June 24, 1990, p. 94 (another example exhibited)
    Portland, Portland Art Museum; Portland, Oregon Art Institute, Object Lessons, May – July 1991 (another example exhibited)
    Paris, Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, Jeff Koons, September 30 – November 29, 1997, p. 51 (another example exhibited)
    Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art; Jeff Koons: Retrospective, September 4 – December 12, 2004. This exhibition later traveled to The Helsinki City Art Museum, January 28 – April 10, 2005, p. 59 (another example exhibited)
    New York, Chelsea Art Museum, The Incomplete, October 2, 2007 – January 17, 2008 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    J. Koons, “A text by Jeff Koons” in Spazio Umano, no. 4, October – December 1986, p. 104 (another example illustrated)
    R. Smith, “Rituals in Consumption” in Art in America, May 1988, p. 170 (another example illustrated)
    Achille Bonito Oliva, “Mannerist Simulation” in Super Art, 1988, pp. 2, 46 and 109 (another example illustrated)
    Achille Bonito Oliva, “Neo-America” in Flash Art, 1988, pp. 62-66 (another example illustrated)
    Peter Schjeldahl, “Jeff Koons” in Objectives, 1990, pp. 82-99 (another example illustrated)
    Angelika Muthesius, ed., Jeff Koons, Cologne, 1992, p. 92 (another example illustrated)
    Anthony d’Offay Gallery, ed., The Jeff Koons Handbook, London, 1992, p. 158
    “Allegria per gli ospiti” in Italian Architectural Digest, May, 2001 p. 162 (illustrated)
    H. Werner Holzwarth, ed., Jeff Koons, Cologne, 2008, p. 220 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The whimsical Cape Codder Troll, 1986, exemplifies the capricious nature of its creator, Jeff Koons; it is at once playful and inviting, capturing the attention of child and adult alike with its smooth and luxurious surface. However, looking beneath its aesthetic appeal, we witness a deeper artistic magnitude and Koons’ unique perspectives on art, culture, and society. As part of the larger Statuary series, Cape Codder Troll, 1986, is Koons’ inspired take on the readymade, including both historical and contemporary sources, from the bust of Louis XIV, to the figure of Bob Hope, to Koons’ iconic rabbit. Through the diversity of this series, Koons successfully levels the entire social spectrum: what unites these works is the artist’s use of stainless steel; by using a common metal in the historically aristocratic tradition of casting bronze, silver, or gold, Koons creates the egalitarian equivalent of widely disparate aesthetics.

    The Cape Codder Troll, 1986, in its similarity to a kitschy collectible found in a souvenir shop, embodies the paradoxes inherent in Koons’ artwork. As an otherwise common commercial item elevated to the status of fine art object, it blurs the boundaries between high and low culture. In this way, it presages some of Koons’ finest artistic achievements, such as Balloon Dog, 1994- 2000, or Hanging Heart (Magenta and Gold), 1994-2006, from his subsequent Celebration series. The Cape Codder Troll, 1986, goes beyond our expectations of sculpture as immovable object, and posits itself as an active, living work of art. Here, Koons revolutionizes the readymade by extolling an otherwise mundane object, and giving it a regal presence. Through its chiseled, mirrored surface, Cape Codder Troll, 1986, incorporates and reflects its audience and surroundings. It is both informed by and informing of contemporary culture; it represents that which makes Koons an icon of the Twenty-First Century.



Cape Codder Troll

stainless steel
21 x 8 1/2 x 9 in. (53.3 x 21.6 x 22.9 cm)
This work is from an edition of three plus one artist’s proof.

$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $578,500

Contemporary Art Part I

7 November 2011
New York