Born in 1960 in Padua, Italy
Lives and works in New York, New York, USA


Maurizio Cattelan is one of the most popular as well as controversial artists on the contemporary art scene. Taking freely from the real world of people and objects, his works are an irreverent operation aimed at both art and institutions. His playful and provocative use of materials, objects, and gestures set in challenging contexts forces commentary and engagement.

Cattelan first achieved notoriety on an international scale in New York with La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), a wax statue of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteorite, which was originally exhibited in 1999 at Kunsthalle Basel. Since 2010, L.O.V.E., a public art intervention permanently installed in Piazza Affari, Milan, triggered the reappropriation by citizens of a square otherwise forgotten. In that same year, Cattelan started a biannual, picture-based publication, TOILETPAPER, co-created with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. In 2011, he provoked a lively debate with an installation of two thousand stuffed pigeons, presented at the 54th Venice Biennale. That same year, Maurizio Cattelan was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, in which all his works were suspended from the ceiling.

From September 2016 and for one year long, in the same museum's restroom, he replaced the toilet with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold, making it available to the public. Later that year, he was invited to exhibit a selection of his most important works at the Monnaie de Paris, resulting in a retrospective titled after one of his works, Not Afraid of Love. In 2018 he curated The Artist Is Present at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, a group show born with the idea of questioning the most hallowed principles of art in the modern era: originality, intention and expression.

In late 2019, a solo exhibition of his major works, Victory is Not an Option, took place at at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire: on the night of the opening, America, the fully-functioning toilet made of 18-karat gold already exhibited at the Guggenheim, was stolen from the exhibition venue by unknown thefts. In December 2019, Cattelan’s new work, Comedian, a banana duct-taped to the gallery’s booth wall, debuted at Art Basel Miami Beach fair, stimulating debates and discussions among audiences of all types around the world about the nature and the value of art.

solo shows

- Victory is Not an Option, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, United Kingdom 

- Not Afraid of LOVE, La Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France

- Cosa Nostra, Venus Over Manhattan, New York

- Maurizio Cattelan, Kaputt, Foundation Beyeler, Switzerland

- Maurizio Cattellan, Amen, Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland

- Maurizio Cattelan, All, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York

- L.O.V.E., Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy 
- The Menil Collection, Houston, USA
- Deste Foundation Project Space, Hydra, Geece

- Kölner Synagoge, Stommeln, Germany

- Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria
- Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
- Maurizio Cattelan, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany

- La fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Piazza XXIV Maggio,Milan, Italy
- Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
- Now, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Chapelle
des Petits Augustins de l’Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
- Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea Trento, Trento, Italy

 - Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, USA
- Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany
- Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece 

- Galerie Marian Goodman, New York, USA
- Maurizio Cattelan: Felix, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA

- Maurizio Cattelan: Him, Färgfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden
- Hollywood, (Special Project foir the Venice Biennale), Palermo, Italy
- Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italie

- Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, USA
- La rivoluzione siamo noi, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland
- CCA, Kitakyushu, Japan
- Artpace, San Antonio, Texas, USA 
- The 6th International Carribean Biennale, Saint Kitts

- L'Arbre, Forum du Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
- Galerie Anthony d'Offay, London, UK
- Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland 
- Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy

- Inova, UWV Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA
- Project 65: Maurizio Cattelan, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

- Espace Jules Verne, Centre d'Art de Brétigny-sur-Orge, France
- Le Consortium, Dijon, France
- Maurizio Cattelan: Dynamo Secession, Wiener Secession (cat. texte de Francesco Bonami),
Vienna, Austria
- Moi-même-Soi-même, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris,France
- Galleria Massimo Minini, Brademia di Brera, Milan, Italy
- Pavillon Italien avec Cucchi et Spaletti, Biennale de Venise,

- Maurizio Cattelan: Tre installazioni per il Castello, Castello di Rivoli, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Turin, Italy 
- Ars Futura, Galerie Nicola Von Senger, Zurich, Suisse
- Laure Genillard Gallery, Londres, Grande-Bretagne
- Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italie

- Errotin, le vrai lapin, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France

- Galerie Analix, Geneva, Switzerland
- Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne, Germany
- Daniel Newburg Gallery, New York, USA
- Laure Genillard Gallery, London, UK

- Galerie Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italie
- Tarzan & Jane, Galerie Raucci Santamaria, Naples, Italy

- Edizioni dell'Obbligo, Spazio Juliet, Trieste, Italy

- Strategie, Galleria Neon, Bologne, Italy

- Biologia delle passioniu, Galleria Neon, Bologne, Italy

- Natura Codarda, Galleria Neon, Bologne, Italy

group shows

- JUNQUE, curated by Jamian Juliano Villani, Massimo De Carlo, London, UK

- La Source, Fondation Carmignac, Île de Porquerolles, France 

- The Artist is present, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China
- In Tune With The World, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

- Myth/History II : Shanghai Galaxy, YUZ Foundation, Shanghai, China
- Picasso Mania, Grand Palais, Paris, France
- Chercher le garçon, MacVal, Vitry-sur-Seine, France
- PICASSO in contemporary art, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany 
- Arts & Foods. Rituali dal 1851, Triennale di Milan, Padiglione di Expo 2015 in cittM, Milan, Italy
- Un museo ideale - Ospiti d’eccezione nelle collezioni del Novecento Dal Futurismo al Contemporaneo Museo del Novecento, Milan, Italy
- IN PART, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy 
- LIBERI TUTTI! Arte e società in Italia. 1989 - 2001, Museo Ettore Fico, Turin, Italy
- Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim Solomon, S.R. Guggengheim, New York, USA 
- SPIN-OFF. Opere dalla Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Centro de Arte Contemporanea de Quito, Montevideo, Uruguay
- La Grande Madre Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy
- Going Public: Opere dalla Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Sheffield Cathedral, Sheffield, UK

- La nona Ora, 1999 Musée des Beaux Arts de Rennes, France
- Art of Sound Fondazione Prada, Ca' Corner della Regina, Venise, Italy
- Art Lovers, Pinault Fondation, Forum Grimaldi, Monaco
- The Human Factor Hayward Gallery, Southbank centre, London, England
- Untitled 2000, YUZ Museum, Shanghai, China
- La fine di Dio, Gagosian Gallery, London, England

- DEEP FEELINGS. From antiquity to now, KunstHalleKrems, Krems an der Donau, Austria
NYC, 1993, Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum, New York
- Happy Birthday, 25 ans de la Galerie Perrotin, Tripostal, Lille, France
- Adventures of truth-Painting and philosophy, Maeght Fondation, Saint Paul, France
- L'art a l'épreuve du monde Depoland, Dunkerque, France
- Riotous Baroque: From Cattelan to Zurbaran Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
- Rêves de Venise L'institut culturel Bernard Magrez, Bordeaux, France
- Bestiario contemporaneo Museo di storia naturale, Venice, Italy

- In Praise of Doubt, Punta della Dogana – Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice
- Funny, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York
- Amecian Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida
- Neon, la Materia Luminosa dell arte Macro, Rome, Italy
- La Collection Olbricht, Le prestige des constellations Maison Rouge, Paris

- Mémoires du future La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
- 8 1/2, the 100 th anniversary of Trussardi, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Firenze, Italy
- ILLUMInazioni, 54th Venice Biennial, Italy
- Fondazione Prada, Ca Corner della Regine, Venice, Italy

- Exhibition, Exhibition, Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy
- Dreamlands, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
- Seconde main, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
- Sexuality and trascendence, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine
- XIV Biennale Internazionale di Scultura di Carrara, Carrara, Italy
- Plus Ultra: Works from Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Macro, Testaccio, Rome
- Fresh Hell, Palais de Toyko, Paris, France
- Biennale Hall, Gwangju, South Korea

- Pop Life, Tate Modern, London
- A Guest + A Host = A Ghost, Deste Foundation, Athens
- 21 st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
- Making Worlds (Fare Mundi) Venice Biennale, Italy
- Un Certain état du Monde Works form the François Pinault Fondation, Moscow, Russia

- Other than Yourself, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
- Traces du Sacré, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
- Revolutions-Forms That Turn (cat), Sidney Biennail, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
- After Nature, (curated by M. Gioni) New Museum, New York
- theanyspacewhatever, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

- Camera con vista, curated by Claudia Gianferrari, Palazzo
Reale, Milano, Italy
SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA
- Freakshow- An Unatural History, Baltic Center, UK
- Ironia Domestica. Uno sguardo curioso tra collezioni private
italiane, curated by Letizia Ragaglia, Museion Museo d’Arte
Moderna eContemporanea, Bolzano, Italy
- Dream and Drama, Kunsthalle Wien and MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
- Italian Mentalscapes, curated by Demetrio Paparoni, Tel
Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Fractured Figure, Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece
- Euro-Centric, Part 1, Rubell Family Collection:Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, USA
- Still Life & Kicking, curated by Dodie Kazanjian, Paula
Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
- Tate Modern Gallery, London, Great Britain

- Where Are We Going?, curated by Alison M. Gingeras,
Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
- Infinite Painting. Pittura Contemporanea e Realismo
Globale, curated by Francesco Bonami and Sarah Cosulich
Canarutto, Villa Manin Centro d’Arte Contemporanea,
Passariano, Italy
- Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist’s Eye,
curated by Francesco Bonami, J. Rodrigues Widholm and
Tricia Van Eck, MART Museo di Arte Moderna e
Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Trento, Italy
- Wrong, curated by Jens Hoffmann, Galerie Klosterfelde,
Berlino, Germany
- Eretica. Trascendenza e profano nell’arte contemporanea,
curated by Demetrio Paparoni and Gianni Mercurio, Civica
Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Palermo, Italy. Catalogo
- Idea, curated by Laura Cherubini, Giorgio Verzotti, Istituto
Nazionale per la Grafica - Palazzo Fontana di Trevi, Roma
and Archivio di Stato, Torino, Italy

- Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist's Eye (organisé par F. Bonami), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA
- Three Exhibition, Dionysiac, (organisé par C. Macel),
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
- Bidibidobidiboo: Works from the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection, Palazzo Re Rebaudengo, Guarene d'Alba, Turin, Italy
- TRANSLATION (cat), Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
- Not a Drop but the Fall, Künsterhaus Bremen, Germany
- Superstars. The Celebrity Factor. From Warhol to
Madonna, (organisé par Brugger), Kunsthalle, Vienna,
- Seriality, Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, USA
- The Art of Chess, Luhring Augustine, New York, USA
- War is Over, (organisé par G. Di Pietrantonio), GAMeC
Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy
- A Brief History of Invisible Art, CCA Wattis Institute for
Contemporary Art, San Francisco, USA

- Institute of Visual Art, London, Great-Britain
- Il Bello e le bestie: Metamorfosi, artifici e ibridi dal mito dell'immaginario scientifico, MART Museo d'arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy.
- Carnegie International (cat), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
- State of Play, (sponsorisée par Hugo Boss), Serpentine
Gallery, London, Great-Britain
- The exhibition of the DESTE Foundation as an official part
of ATHENS 2004 Culture, Athènes, Greece
- From Magritte to Cattelan: Masterpieces from the collection
of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Villa Manin
Codroipo, Italy
- Reflecting the Mirror, Galerie Marian Goodman, New
York, USA
- Memory and Landscape, La Casa Encendida, Madrid,
- 1st Seville International Biennial, Seville, Spain
- Withney Biennail (cat), Withney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

- Objets? Objets!, CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
- The Art of Chess, Gilbert Collection, London, Great
- Partners, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
- Europe Exists, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art,
Thessaloniki, Greece
- C'est arrivé demain, Biennale de Lyon, France
- moving energy #02, Museum Folkwang Essen, Essen,
- Sogni e conflitti - La dittatura dello spettore, 50° Biennale
di Venezia, (Curator: Francesco Bonami), Venise, Italy

- De Gustibus, (Curators: Achille Bonito Oliva et Sergio
Risaliti), Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy
- Ydessa Foundation, Toronto, Canada
- Wallflowers, Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland
- Le portrait s'envisage..., Château de TanlayPerrigny,
- Hollywood is a verb, Gagosian Gallery, London, Great
- Hello, My Name is..., Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
- Photographier, Collection Lambert, Musée d'Art
Contemporain, Avignon, France
- From the Observatory, (Curator: Robert Nickas), Paula
Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
- Out of senses, (Curator: Rein Wolfs), Museum Boymans
Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Pays-Bas
- L'art d'aujourd'hui: un choix dans la collection du Fonds
national d'art contemporain, Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble,

- Biennale de Venise, Palerme, Italy
- Yokohama Biennale, Yokohama, Japon
- Hollywood, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France
- Dévoler, Vivent les Frac (suite), Institut d'art
contemporain, Villeurbanne, France
- Places in the Mind: Modern Photographs from the
Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
- Visioni a catena: Famiglia, politica e religione nell'ultima generazione di arte italiana contemporanea (cat), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan

- Zacheta Gallery, Varsovie, Polish
- Musée National d'Art Moderne-Centre Georges Pompidou,
Paris, France
- Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Messico
- Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA
- Fondation Sandretto Rebaudengo per l'arte, Turin, Italy
- Narcisse blessé, Passage de Retz, Paris, France
- Home is where the Art is, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam,
- Apocalypse, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Great
- Présumés innocents - l'art contemporain et l'enfance,
CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
- Art Expo 2000, Hannover, Germany
- Over the Edges: The Corners of Ghent, S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium
- Let's Entertain: Life's Guilty Pleasures, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, USA

- Dehors-Dedans, CAPC Musée d'art contemporain de
Bordeaux, France
- La casa, il corpo, il cuore, Museum Moderner Kunst
Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienne, Austria
- Abracadabra, Tate Gallery, London, Great-Britain
- Tales of the tip , Fundamental Foundation, Breda, Pays Bas
- Zeitwenden-Ausblick, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
- Aperto: dAPERTutto (Aperto Over All) (Curator: Harald Szeemann), 48ème Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
- Signs of Life, Melbourne Biennail, Melbourne, Australia
- The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA
- La Ville, le Jardin, la Mémoire, Académie de France à
Rome, Villa Médicis, Rome, Italy

- Artificial, MACBA, Barcelone, Spain
- Wounds, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
- I inova, Milwokee, USA
- Wiener Secession, Vienne, Austria
- Ironic, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland
- Cet été là..., Centre Régional d'Art contemporain
Languedoc-Rousillon, Sète, France
- Manifesta 2, Biennale Européenne d'Art Contemporain,
Luxembourg, France
- Unfinished History, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

- Delta, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
- Transit, ENSBA, Paris, France
- Biennale d'Istanbul, Turkey
- Connexion implicite, ENSBA, Paris, France
- Para-site, Bruxelles, Belgium
- Cartographie, Belgrade, Yougoslavia
- Skulpture Project, Landesmuseum, Munster, Germany
- Odisseo, Bari, Italy
- Summer show, Galerie Marian Goodman, New York, USA
- Fatto in Italia, Centre d'Art Contemporain de Genève,
Switzerland; ICA, London, Great-Britain
- Moment Ginza, Le Magasin, Centre d'Art Contemporain
de Grenoble, France
- Fargfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden
- Art Call, Copenhague, Danemark
- Light Slow, Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy
- Collections du Castello di Rivoli, FRAC Rhône Alpes et Le
Nouveau Musée/ Institut de Villeurbannes, Villerbannes,

- Triple Axel, Le Gymnase, Roubaix, France
- Exposition évolutive, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin (now Galerie Perrotin), Paris, France
- Fool's Rain, ICA, London, Great-Britain
- Le Magasin, Centre d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble,
- Beige, Saga Basament, Copenhague, Danemark
- Alfabetizzazione, Castel S. Pietro, Italy
- a/drift, Center for Contemporary Studios, Bard College,
New York, USA
- Campo 6, il villaggio a spirale, Galleria Civica, Turin, Italy
- Ultime Generazioni, Quadriennale d'Arte di Roma, Rome,
- Interpol, Fargfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden
- Almost Invisible, Ehemaliges Umspannwerk, Singen,
- L'art au corps , MAC, Marseille, France
- Crap shoot, De Appel, Amsterdam, Holland
- Cabines de bain, Piscine de La Motta, Fribourg, Switzerland
- Traffic (cat), proposé par Nicolas Bourriaud, Capc Musée
d'art Contemporain Bordeaux, France
- Once removed, Laure Genillard Gallery, London, Great-Britain
- Departure Lounge, Clock Tower Gallery, New York, USA

- Photomontage, Le Consortium, Dijon, France
- Das Spiel in der Kunst, Neue Galerie, Graz and Arlge
Kunst, Germany
- Kwangju, Biennale de Kwangju, Corea
- Caravanserraglio, Ex Aurum, Pescara, Italy
- Le Labyrinthe Moral, Le Consortium, Dijon, France
- La Collezione, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy

- Incertaine Identité, Galerie Analix, Genève, Switzerland
- Rien à signaler, Galerie Analix, Genève, Switzerland
- Soggetto - Soggetto: Una nuova relazione nell'arte di oggi, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d'arte contemporanea, Rivoli,Turin, Italy
- Prima Linea, Flash Art Museum, Trevi, Italy
- L'Hiver de l'amour, ARC, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville
de Paris, Paris ; PS1, Long Island, New York, USA

- Galerie Massimo de Carlo, Milan, Italy
- M. Cattelan, C. Hyvrard, P. Parreno, M. Wallinger, Galerie
Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France
- Maurizi, Depot, Bologne, Italy
- L'Arca di Noe, Flash Art Museum, Trevi, Italy
- Chambre 763, organisé par Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Hôtel
Carlton Palace, Paris, France
- Documentario, Spazio Opos, Milan, Italy
- Nachtschattengewächse, Musée Fridericianum, Kassel,
- Maurizio Cattelan, Colette Hyvrard, Philippe Parreno, MarkWallinger, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
- Aperto '93: Emergency/Emergenza, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

- Twenty Fragile Pieces, Galerie Analix, Genève, Switzerland
- Ottovolante, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bergamo, Italy
- Una domenica a Rivara, Castello di Rivara, Contemporary Art Center, Turin, Italy
- Trekking, Gallerie Neon, Bologna, Italy

- Loro, Castello Visconteo, Trezzo, Italy
- Briefing, Galerie Inga Pin, Milan, Italy
- Anni 90, Galerie d'Art Moderne, Bologne, Italy
- Operazione S. Giustino, Milan, Italy
- Siamo qui e stiamo facendo, Castellafiume, Italy
- Medialismo, Galerie Vitolo, Rome, Italy
- Rassegna Piccoli Editori, Castello di Belgioioso, Italy 

- prodotti recenti, Galleria Neon, Bologne, Italy 
- La carta dell'artista, Castello di Belgioioso, Italy
- Improvisiazione libera: Esperienza musicale per 70 solisti, Prato, Italy 

- I Quaderni del San Sebastiano, Oratorio San Sebastiano, San Sebastian, Italy
- La mostra non mostra, Primo Piano Gallery, Milan, Italy 
- Metessi: Tracce, passagi, scritture, gesti, impronte d'arte contemporeana, Galleria Lidia Carrieri, Rome, Italy 

Aumento di temperatura, Galleria Neon, Bologna, Italy

Emergenze I-II-III, Galleria Neon, Bologna, Italy 


- 6th Caribbean Biennial, co-organisée par Jens Hoffmann,
St. Kitts, British West Indies, West Indies
- Let's get lost, Saint Martin College, London, Great-Britain (projet refusé)

- Unfinished History, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

- Choose your destination, how to get a Museum-paid
vacation, University of South
Florida, Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, Floride , USA

- Sonsbeek '93. International Sculpture Exhibition, Arnhem,
Pays-Bas (projet refusé)

- Doppiogioco, Serre di Rapolano, Italy
- Fondazione Oblomov, Accademia di Brera, Milan, Italy
- Rassegna piccoli editori, Castello di Belgioioso,
Belgioioso, Italy

- Stand abusivo, Arte Fiera Bologna, Italy

Maurizio Cattelan - Victory is not an Option

Maurizio Cattelan - Victory is not an Option

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  • April 2020
    Numéro — 3 PAGES

  • December 2019
    The Art Newspaper — 1 PAGE

  • March 2019
    Connaissance des Arts — 6 PAGES

  • December 2018
    The Rake — 6 PAGES

  • December 2018
    Adhesivo — 4 PAGES

The Pope felled by a meteorite as if by the hand of God (“La Nona Ora,” 1999), a miniature model of the artist in a Beuysian felt suit, hanging helplessly from a clothes rack (“La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi,” 2000), or the artist breaking into the temple of art through the museum floor (Untitled, 2001) – Maurizio Cattelan, in a mixture of Don Camillo, Pinocchio and court jester, always carries his pictorial statements to extremes so that the realistic depiction of well-practiced social and art world conventions tips over into the absurd and ridiculous. Rather theatrical and ephemeral in his actions, objects, and installations, but deploying ironic sophistication and unexpected turns, the artist spares no taboo in unmasking deceitfulness. Born in 1960 in the North Italian university town of Padua, he started his career in the eighties creating anti-functional design objects before deciding to work in the art world, which, in his own words, he found “much more appealing.” Since then, Cattelan has become an internationally renowned artist, even though he would not describe himself as one. However, without contradictions, provocations, and simultaneously existing differing truths, his work would not be what it is. This strategy, together with a visual power which imprints itself onto our memory, has led to the appearance of his actions and sculptures in the most important international art institutions and to participation in numerous significant group exhibitions and biennials. Since 1993 when Maurizio Cattelan settled in New York, he has alternatingly lived and worked both there and in Milan. Not owning a studio, he works in situ, as exhibitions offer him exactly the challenge needed to “find” new works, which are subsequently fabricated by others rather than being made by the artist himself. In this sense, he really is one of Duchamp’s greatgrandchildren.
In contrast to Duchamp, however, he does not relate the idea of the readymade to the selecting of found objects which are then declared as artworks, but views experienced reality in its irreconcilable, often absurd contradictions as a large readymade which he quarries for ideas. “We can find a philosophical idea through television, which we watch every day,” says Cattelan. He draws upon his own biography and links this to an Italian attitude to life that continually swings from banality to extreme devoutness and holy veneration. And he finds his subjects in the art world’s overheated mannerisms and rituals as much as in the social and political fractures of society. For Cattelan, style means nothing more than a particular artistic attitude that can be translated into different media, linguistic forms, and visual solutions. An artist like him who has made ironic distance the principle of his practice must rely on flexibility, but never on predictable conclusions. If on occasion this does not suffice he is happy to steal other artists’ ideas or even a whole exhibition. Such was the case with a project done for de Appel Gallery in Amsterdam. Maurizio Cattelan is a storyteller. Storytellers do not carry out revolutions, but they may inspire them. Each image that he generates through his actions and sculptures resembles a shared membrane between his and our emotions. In this, Cattelan really relies on an intensive working process of condensing and refining the ideas, the outcome of which is always an “image” full of narrative inventions. Why for example are the hands of the child in “Charlie Don’t Surf” (1997) nailed to the table with pencils? Cattelan loves these little stories, which emerge from within deeper levels of the work. They make the work lively and are triggers for individual stories, which vary from viewer to viewer. Despite all the variety of ideas and works, there are two founding principles in his oeuvre. Maurizio Cattelan differentiates between works which function as an idea or project, such as the footballers’ memorial wall in London on which the results of all the England team’s lost games are engraved or the figure with a Picasso mask which greets visitors at the entrance to MoMA in New York, and those works which are transformed into highly memorable images. Within this category fall such works as “Novecento” from 1997, which shows a horse hanging from the ceiling, or “Him” (2001) with Hitler as a boy kneeling repentantly. In his work, which in equal measure encompasses both humor and humility, it is this tragic but comical keynote that evokes strong, but sometimes also oppressive emotions in us, especially when Cattelan, in all his diversity, repeatedly centers on death as his central motif. In this the artist is very close to his ancestral and national roots. According to Francesco Bonami, death is “the very last moment of pathetic intimacy, the most radical way to avoid public responsibility.” Death is also the major subject of the exhibition at Kunsthaus Bregenz. For the first time, Maurizio Cattelan has allowed a total architectural installation to be part of his work. By making very few spatial interventions and with three groups of work especially created for Bregenz, he changes the building into a burial chamber, which transforms the building’s auratic potential into a borderland between disquieting anxiety and ironic distance. As usual, Cattelan does not want to disclose too much about his exhibition in advance. Yet, he wants his work to be located somewhere between “softness and perversity,” he says: “It should be tender, comforting and seductive and yet corrupted, twisted and consumed.”




"Macbeth", new trailer for the Metropolitan Opera. A Toilet Paper project by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari

"Macbeth", new trailer for the Metropolitan...