Sometimes they come back

July 7, 2021

Milan • Cattelan returns to Italy with a solo exhibition at HangarBicocca 

He is everywhere: hanging on a wall, sitting on a ledge, emerging from a floor. On display also La Nona Ora, Others, Him

He is everywhere: hanging on a wall, sitting on a ledge, emerging from the floor. Maurizio Cattelan’s art is so iconic and egocentric that it can be summarized in any photo of the artist, even when the subject is another, a banana or a golden toilet. After the exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York in 2011, the one at the Monnaie in Paris in 2016 and at the Blenheim Palace of Oxfordshire in 2019, the Paduan artist has organized a triumphant return to Italy.

An art so iconic and egocentric that can be summarized in any photo of the artist

Curated by Roberta Tenconi and Vicente Todolí, the Pirelli HangarBicocca proposes from the 15th of July to the 20th of February 2022 “Breath Ghosts Blind,” an exhibition in which the artist exhibits a selection of his most emblematic works. The path unfolds between the hanging horse of Novecento (1997), the marble corpse-drapes of All (2007), the headless horse of Senza Titolo (2007), up to The Ninth Hour (1999), the controversial effigy of John Paul II struck by a meteorite, and Him (2001), the portrait of Hitler praying. On moldings that frame the rooms the pigeons of Others (2011) frame the numerous portraits of the artist, up to the unprecedented site specific project built between symbolic references and images that belong to the collective imagination.

In Cattelan we find the contemporary attitude for desecration and irreverence

But the mind immediately runs to Piazza Affari in Milan where L.O.V.E. stands out, the immense sculpture of a middle finger, an allegedly irreverent gesture to finance made by an art that follows the same speculative logic, where speculation means the subtle game of intelligence in which an idea is succeeded by a new idea, a new provocation by a new provocation. Cattelan inserts himself in that line that, from Dadaism to pop art, leads to the contemporary attitude of creating desecrating works that make of fun and irony their own reason.

He creates works that make of fun and irony their own reason

An art that conceives the idea leaving the the execution to specialists and the judgment to the auction houses; works that propose generic criticism of society, power and common sense. An art in which impression counts more than reflection.

Cattelan is everywhere, just as everywhere is the contemporary need to photograph ourselfs constantly. The image of Maurizio Cattelan is basically that of all of us, nourished by the icons and contradictions of our times, of which we all are the origin and the summary. A gigantic selfie taken to be published absent-mindedly on social networks and prove to the world we exist.

He conceives the idea, leaving the execution to specialists and the judgment to auction houses


Maurizio Cattelan

Breath Ghosts Blind Milano HangarBicocca

Curated by Roberta Tenconi e Vicente Todolí


The Author

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After attending the faculty of letters and philosophy in Pavia, he graduated in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic with a thesis about the urban form and the identity of place. He has always been in love with art and literature and, undecided about which to choose, he tried to carry on both his passions. Since 2006 he’s been writing first for ARTEiN and then on AW Art Mag. He lives and work in Paris, a city he loves and to which is bound by the eternal spirit of the artistic avant-garde lurking around its alleyways.

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