About This Artwork

Jeff Koons
American, born 1955

Woman in Tub, 1988

Porcelain; artist's proof from an edition of 3, plus 1 artist's proof
60.3 x 91.4 x 68.6 cm (23 3/4 x 36 x 27 in.)

Collection of Stefan T. Edlis and H. Gael Neeson, partial and promised gift to the Art Institute of Chicago, 2005.472

© 1988 Jeff Koons

Woman in Tub, based on a postcard, depicts a female nude acting out a crude sexual joke in the bathtub. Jeff Koons explained: “There’s a snorkel and somebody is doing something to her under the water because she’s grabbing her breasts for protection. But the viewer also wants to victimize her.” The cartoonlike rendering of the form belies the exquisite hard-paste porcelain finish, typical of 18th-century Rococo figurines. Part of his Banality series, which is characterized by oddly eroticized, comic, and kitsch images, this work demonstrates Duchampian and Pop Art strategies of appropriation and, combining imagery from multiple sources, makes the primary subject taste itself.

Interpretive Resources

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