Maurizio Cattelan: All

Until January 22, 2012, the Guggenheim is exhibiting Maurizio Cattelan’s first and last retrospective (not so sure I believe him), as the artist has marked this event as his “departure from the art world.”  I was hesitant about spending the money to attend the show because Time Out New York had a scathing review of the presentation of the work (as well as the artist) by Howard Halle, in which the exhibition was given a single star and much criticism.  Fortunately, today I have found a more promising analysis on Capital by David Balzer.

The work is particularly powerful for the layers in which it possesses – figuratively, conceptually and literally.  His rejection and criticism of authoritarianism and the social, political, and artistic power structures bombarding and “strangling” our society are revealed to varying degrees… perhaps I may go so far as to say leaving us suspended in a tension filled space where the meanings may be slowly peeled away to reveal new complexities and complications to our perceptions and understanding of the world in which we live.

Put succinctly, the show was charged with energy, the museum was packed full, and the work was, as Balzer wrote, “like  a postmodern-adult version of ‘It’s A Small World After All.’”

Maurizio Cattelan: All, Guggenheim 2011

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