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Jeff Koons Puppy Vase: An Iconic Work From the World’s Biggest Artist

Jeff Koons Puppy Vase

Ceramic vase of a white terrier puppy by artist Jeff Koons. Incised signature and date on base, numbered 1254/3000, with original packaging and box. Glazed earthenware, United States, 1998. 12-1/2″ deep x 17-1/4″ high x 11″ wide. Leah Gordon Gallery, The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center [#18/212.872.1422]

Love him or hate him (and there are plenty in both camps), Jeff Koons is undeniably one of the biggest artists in the world–certainly, the most successful living American artist, commanding the highest prices in a record-high art market. Like Warhol and Dali before him, Koons occupies the precarious space between high art, celebrity, and pop culture with huge aplomb. Last year’s Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum ushered the artist back into the limelight (not that you could say he ever really left), with a comprehensive review of his most iconic works. This highly collectible 1998 original Puppy Vase is based on one of his (literally) biggest hits, the gargantuan 1992 floral sculpture, “Puppy.”

Jeff Koons Puppy, Bilbao, Spain.

Jeff Koons Puppy, Bilbao, Spain. Credit:

Acquired by Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the 40-foot tall “Puppy,” is an irrigated, ever-growing sculpture of  living flowers based on Koons’ 1991 sculpture “White Terrier.”  Inspired by 18th century royal garden design, “Puppy” is simultaneously lavish and sincere, “a monument to the sentimental.” This original-run Koons Puppy Vase is a more intimate gesture towards the original flower sculpture. While many read Koons’ work as ironic, Koons “insists his practice is earnest and optimistic.

Jeff Koons Puppy Vase

Vase view of Jeff Koons Puppy vase. Leah Gordon Gallery, The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center [#18/212.872.1422]

Of this iconic work, he says “The vase is a symbol of love, warmth, and happiness.” It is hard to think of better symbols of love, warmth, and happiness in our culture than puppies and flowers. Koons has drawn much discussion over his relentless exploration of mass culture and Pop-pleasures, but it’s hard to deny the true pleasures of this finely modeled ceramic white terrier. It’s a touchingly sweet artistic moment in the long and varied career of one of the world’s most influential artists. For more information on this Jeff Koons Puppy Vase, contact Leah Gordon Gallery.

Jeff Koons Puppy Vase

Side view of Jeff Koons Puppy vase. Leah Gordon Gallery, The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center [#18/212.872.1422]

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