Maurizio Cattelan (b. Padua, 1960) is one of the most prominent Italian artists in the world. Through his practice and over his thirty-year long career, he has staged actions that are often considered provocative and irreverent. His works highlight the paradoxes of society and reflect on political and cultural scenarios with great depth and insight. By using iconic images and a caustic visual language, his works spark heated public debate fostering a sense of collective participation. Conceiving artworks inspired by images that draw on historical events, figures or symbols of contemporary society—sometimes recalled even in its most disturbing and traumatizing sides—the artist invites the viewer to change perspective and to acknowledge the complexity and ambiguity of reality.
For the solo exhibition “Breath Ghosts Blind” Maurizio Cattelan has conceived a site-specific project for the spaces of Pirelli HangarBicocca that gives the audience an insight into collective and personal through a symbolic representation of life.
Bringing together new artworks with the reconfiguration of an historical piece, the show unfolds in a series of acts dealing with existential concepts and issues such as the fragility of life, memory as well as the individual and collective sense of loss. Amongst symbolic references that belong to our collective imagery, the unique site-specific project challenges the current system of values.
His monographic exhibitions and projects have been presented by major international institutions, including Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire (2019); Monnaie de Paris (2016); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016 and 2011); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2013); Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2012); Palazzo Reale, Milan, The Menil Collection, Houston, Deste Foundation Project Space, Hydra (2010); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2008); MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2007); Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento (2004); MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002).
Cattelan has also participated in major group shows, including the Yokohama Triennale (2017 and 2001); Venice Biennale (2011, 2009, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997 and 1993); Gwangju Biennale (2010); Biennale of Sydney (2008); Whitney Biennial, New York, Seville Biennial (2004); Biennale de Lyon (2003), and Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997).
The artist was a finalist for the Guggenheim Hugo Boss Prize (2000), and received the Quadriennale Prize in Rome (2009), the Arnold-Bode Prize, Kassel (2005), an honorary degree in Sociology from the University of Trento (2004) and the honorary Professorship in sculpture from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara (2018).