Jeff Koons

One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank

On loan from Art Bridges, the Mattatuck presentation will serve to inform visitors of Waterbury’s important place in the history of the sport. Following the creation of the game in 1891 in Springfield, MA by James Naismith, the inventor brought “basketball” to the Waterbury YMCA, the second place the new game was played. A full series of programming focusing on this historical connection, as well as the scientific aspects of the work will be presented while the piece is on view.

More about this exhibition

This May, Jeff Koons set an auction record for the most expensive work by a living artist. The work (Rabbit) was one of a group of sculptures Koons began producing in the 1980s that used actual consumer goods as substitutes for the idea of art as commodity. Among them was the exciting One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985). Created with the help of Nobel Prize Winning physicist Richard Feynman, the work features a Spalding Dr. J Silver Series basketball suspended in the center of a tank of water, seemingly preserved in its motionless state. Koons set out to have, in his words, “a basketball just hover in a state of equilibrium, where all the forces would be equal.” He viewed the basketball as a metaphor for social mobility, and used it to address the socio-economic realities of 1980s.