Art at Times: REFLECTS ON ITSELF / Case study: MAURIZIO CATTELAN 

The works of Maurizio Cattelan are often installations that refer either to famous people or to recognizable situations, which are deprived of their context of reference.

In La rivoluzione siamo noi we see a mannequin hanging from a coat hanger and we discover that it is a self-portrait because it resembles the artist. The mannequin is wearing a felt suit and we discover that it refers to another artist, Josef Beuys, who used to wear a felt suit as if it were a uniform and believed that each and every man can be an artist. Then we discover that there is an art-work by Beuys that has the same title (We are the revolution) and which quotes Il quarto Stato (The Fourth Estate) by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.

Cattelan’s work, with a single, powerful image, and thanks to a sophisticated game of cross-references, hidden levels and quotes, tooks into consideration the whole of the 1900’s, by reflecting upon art itself with profound historical and cultural awareness and, at the same time, with irony and desecration.

Maurizio Cattelan

 Video lesson 

Art at Times... Reflects on Itself (L'arte a volte riflette su se stessa, Ita. 2014, dur. 16' ca.)

Credits: video by Studio Lulalabò | dir./script/edit./sound, Luca Aimeri | script collab., Edu. Dept. FSSR | cam., Valerio Rigaldo, Pierpaolo Abbà | graphic-d., Laura Calvini | act., Leonie Heys Cerchio | prod., Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,  Fondazione CRT.

Main artwork: La rivoluzione siamo noi (2000), by Maurizio Cattelan

Other cited Cattelan's works: Una domenica a Rivara (1992) | Untitled (1995-1999) | Bidibidobidiboo (1996) | Charlie Don't Surf (1997) | Novecento (1997) | Mini-me (1999) | La nona ora (2001) | Him (2001) | Untitled (2001) | All (2011)

Other cited artists and works: Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, Il quarto Stato (1901) | Joseph Beuys, La Rivoluzione siamo Noi (1971), Two Young Women with Shining Bread (1968), Intuition (1968), Evervess II 1 (1968), Sled (1969), Felt Suit (1970), Rose for Direct Democracy (1973), Scottish Simphony/Requiem of Art (1973), Telephone T--R (1974), Mirror Piece (1975), Economic Values (1977),  Capri Battery (1985)

 Tools 

Il quarto stato (1901)
Il quarto stato (1901)

Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo | Museo del Novecento, Milano

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La Rivoluzione siamo Noi (1971)
La Rivoluzione siamo Noi (1971)

Joseph Beuys | Anna Amelio Santamaria collection, Napoli

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La rivoluzione siamo noi (2000)
La rivoluzione siamo noi (2000)

Maurizio Cattelan | Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich

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Mini-me (1999)
Mini-me (1999)

Photo, Attilio Maranzano

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Untitled (2001)
Untitled (2001)

Photo, Attilio Maranzano

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Untitled (1995)
Untitled (1995)

Photo, Armin Linke

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Untitled (1995-1999)
Untitled (1995-1999)

Photo, Zeno Zotti

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Una domenica a Rivara (1992)
Una domenica a Rivara (1992)

Photo, STUDIO BLU-Giulio Buono

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Charlie Don’t Surf (1997)
Charlie Don’t Surf (1997)

Photo, Paolo Pellion Di Persano

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Charlie Don’t Surf (1997)
Charlie Don’t Surf (1997)

Photo, Paolo Pellion Di Persano

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Novecento (1997)
Novecento (1997)

Photo, Paolo Pellion Di Persano

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Bidibidobidiboo (1996)
Bidibidobidiboo (1996)

Photo, Zeno Zotti

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 Links