This month, images of two Jeff Koons sculptures were on the covers of Sotheby’s and Christie’s postwar and contemporary art auction catalogs. One of them, “Popeye” — a six-and-a-half-foot-tall stainless-steel sculpture from 2009 and 2011 — is now heading to Las Vegas. Steve Wynn bought it for $28.1 million and is putting it on view at his casino, the Wynn. The other work, “Jim Beam J. B. Turner Train,” a 1986 stainless-steel train filled with bourbon, is said to be heading to Asia, where an unidentified collector bought it for $33.7 million.
Those two big sales were just a prelude to what seems to be the summer of Mr. Koons in New York. There is the giant retrospective that opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 27. Timed to that will be the appearance of “Split-Rocker,” his monumental, flowering, toylike sculpture. It is beginning to take shape at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, on the spot where the Christmas tree stands every year.