Greening the garden sculpture

jeff-koons-bilbao-garden-sculptureHow about combining your garden and your sculpture investment and commissioning a piece of art (topiary) from Jeff Koons? The artist is responsible for this imaginative 43 foot high ‘vertical garden’ at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in the mid-1990s.

For fire, water, air and earth see also the environmental sculpture of Elena Columbo.

5 thoughts on “Greening the garden sculpture

  1. Tom Turner

    Its nice to see something from Jeff which is not in need of censorship, or an 0ver-18 label! There was in fact a fashion in Victorian times for ‘verdant sculpture’ on these lines.

  2. Christine

    McCalman in ‘An Oxford Companion to the Romantic age: British Culture 1776-1832’ (p577) says the Victorian era was a time when the landscape element of gardens was reduced and the horticultural was emphasised, particularly with the introduction of many ‘exotic’ plants by Botanists such as Joseph Banks. Thus begun the trend to (private) gardens of ‘a few acres’ (the gardensque)the exponents of which were Repton and Loundon.

    Thus in the Romantic Age gardens went from being characterised by the sublime, to the picturesque to the gardensque in Victorian times.

    Melbourne is one of the great Victorian era cities. Plans for the city were drawn up by Robert Hoddle in 1837. In ‘Melbourne’ Egger and McClymont (p47) say;

    “…Melbourne was bolstered by the wealth of the gold fields and the city became one of the world’s great Victorian era cities. Melbournians took some pride in their settlement, and they used their new found wealth to build a city of extravagant proportions. Among the new migrants were tradespeople from Europe who were trained in the traditions of Renaissance-style building, and the city’s architects readily put them to work. Large areas were set aside and planted as public parks and gardens. By the 1880’s Melbourne was referred to as ‘the Paris of the Antipodes’.”


  3. Christine

    Jeff Koons work is usually controversial because of its over 18 content. At Bilbao ETA members disguised as gardeners attempted to place explosive filled pot plants by the sculpture.

    To the question “Is it important that your work be famous?” – Koons replied: “There’s a difference between being famous and being significant. I’m interested in [my work’s] significance — anything that can enrich our lives and make them vaster — but I’m really not interested in the idea of fame for fame’s sake.”[16]

    In this instance, I don’t believe it was the artwork the were objecting to…


  4. Tom Turner

    Not sure if I believe Jeff on the subject of fame and money. They used to say they three great motives were money, military glory and spiritual glory, but now they are money and fame. I think this conclusion was based on interviews with young people. Maybe Jeff is less frank than them!

  5. Christine

    The New York Botantical Gardens offers a set of Andy Warhol plates inspired by ‘Flower for Tacoma Dome'(1982). []


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