Maurizio Cattelan is often seen as the joker of the art world, as his work/stunts are often seen to address the issues of power, death and authority. His new exhibition opened last month at the Whitechapel gallery as part of the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, has kindly allowed her property to be seen at the gallery, fully demonstrating why its one of the most important private collections in Europe. With the collection featuring over 1,000 artworks from hugely successful global artists over the last decade. With key pieces being from the likes of Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman, Chapman Brothers, Sarah Lucas among others this promises to be the start of a great relationship. It already seems that this partnership is linking up better than Ferdinand and Shearer, as the first artist being showcased Maurizio Cattelan. A man whose exceptional brilliance lies within his humorous sculptures and daring stunts, this promises to be a display you’ll not soon forget.
This show highlights some of the Italian genius’ earlier works featuring the wonderfully brilliant Bidibidobidiboo (1996), which features a stuffed squirrel slumped over a kitchen table, with a handgun at its feet. This is probably one of my favourite pieces in the exhibition, as it examines the issue of childhood innocence.
In another sculpture, the emblem of the 1970s terrorist group Brigate Rosse is switched into a neon Christmas greeting by Cattelan. Another piece is Il Bel Paese (1995) a cheese naming Italy as ‘a beautiful country’ becomes a rug on which to walk.
The notion of art potentially reforming society is also slyly broadcasted as it becomes the butt of Cattelan’s joke, when he makes an effigy of himself dressed in iconic artist Joseph Beuys trademark grey felt suit, hanging by the neck from a clothes rack.