The Most Important Artists of 2013 (So Far)

7. Jeff Koons

Exhibitions: "Gazing Ball" at David Zwirner Gallery (May 8 - June 29, 2013), "Jeff Koons: New Paintings and Sculpture" at Gagosian Gallery (May 9 - July 3, 2013)

When New York Magazine called Jeff Koons "the most successful artist since Andy Warhol" in May, it was hard to deny them. His work is often so kitsch that it hurts, but he maintains relevant and possesses an understated awareness of the direction his work should move next. His concurrent exhibitions at David Zwirner and Gagosian in New York were both nods to art history and his own personal history, featuring renditions of Classical sculptures paired with "the mirrored spherical ornaments frequently found on lawns, gardens, and patios around Koons' childhood home in Pennsylvania." Anyone who saw these works in person would say the same thing-their scale was undeniably impressive. Jeff Koons has set a high bar for his upcoming retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 2014 with these two exhibitions, and whether you love him or hate him, he has already reached a fairly Warholian level of success, except certainly beyond any "15 minutes" of fame or recognition. -Cedar Pasori

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