The Imaginary Museum” is a new exhibition series at the New Museum
which will periodically feature leading private collections of
contemporary art from around the world, providing the opportunity for
great works of art to be seen by a broader public, while experimenting
with different curatorial models and furthering conversations about
collaboration. The first exhibition in this series will feature the
Dakis Joannou Collection.
The Dakis Joannou Collection contains 1,500 works by 400 artists, with major concentrations of works by Maurizio Cattelan, Nathalie Djurberg, Urs Fischer, Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Chris Ofili, Charles Ray, Kiki Smith, and Kara Walker, among many others. Curated exhibitions from the collection have been presented at Joannou’s DESTE Foundation in Athens since the late 1980s and the collection has been exhibited in museums in Paris and Vienna.
The New Museum has invited Jeff Koons to curate the exhibition. Koons is one of the foremost artists of our time, and he had his first museum
exhibition at the New Museum in 1981. His curatorial and artistic vision
will bring a fresh perspective to the Joannou Collection and to the
works on view. Joannou and Koons met in New York in 1985 and have had a close association for nearly three decades. Koons’s One Ball Equilibrium Tank (1985) was the first major artwork that Joannou acquired, initiating the collection. Engaging Koons as curator reflects Joannou’s deep involvement and ongoing conversations with artists that have been a touchstone of the collection from the start.