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New York Times

Inside Art

October 16, 2014

Maurizio Cattelan’s “Turisti” will be roosting in New York.

Maurizio Cattelan’s “Turisti” will be roosting in New York.

Inside Art

By Carol Vogel


Nearly 337,000 people visited the Guggenheim Museum in New York to see the Maurizio Cattelan retrospective, which opened in 2011. Wild and wacky, it featured many of this Italian artist’s much loved sculptures — an old woman stuffed in a refrigerator, a pope felled by a meteorite, the rear end of a taxidermied horse and the artist himself as a boy riding a tricycle — all hanging from ropes down the center of the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda. Mr. Cattelan used the show to announce the end of his art making.

Ah, but is it? Since then, he teamed up with the photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari to create a billboard next to the High Line in Manhattan, and most recently they made a two-minute video that is a prelude to the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Macbeth,” which is being shown in 2,000 movie theaters this fall.



Still, many of Mr. Cattelan’s fans long to see some of his greatest hits again. That was the thinking, anyway, behind “Cosa Nostra,” an exhibition of his work opening on Oct. 30 at S/2, Sotheby’s private selling gallery on the second floor of its York Avenue headquarters, and on Nov. 7 at Venus Over Manhattan, the two-year-old gallery founded by Adam Lindemann, the collector and writer, which is at 980 Madison Avenue, at 76th Street.

“He’s a great artist and there hasn’t been a gallery exhibition of Cattelan’s work in a long time,” said Alexander Rotter, co-head of Sotheby’s worldwide contemporary art department.

Mr. Lindemann, a fan, is organizing the show. “After the Guggenheim retrospective, we felt a void,” he said. On view will be many of the artist’s provocative sculptures — some for sale — including “Turisti,” taxidermied pigeons (1997) similar to those Mr. Cattelan perched the ledge of at the Palace of Exhibitions at the 2011 Venice Biennale; “Ave Maria,” the 2007 piece showing three uniformed arms coming out of a wall, in a fascist salute; and “Him,” the head of Hitler atop the body of 12-year-old boy who is kneeling with hands clasped.

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