This website uses cookies.
Ok Privacy Policy

Maurizio Cattelan Mother

cm 130 x 116,5
Maurizio Cattelan has emerged as one the most innovative artists of the 1990s thanks to his provocative operations that aim to demystify the art system and the exposition venues. His greatest ability is the reinterpretation of 20th century avant-garde strategies in the contemporary art system. In some works, the irony leads the public out of the linguistic strategies of contemporary art toward a paradoxical and profound representation of the human condition. "Mother", the action that Cattelan ideated in 1999 at the 48th Venice Biennale is, in this sense, one of his most significant works. Invited by Harald Szeemann to participate in the Venetian exposition, Cattelan intervened at the Arsenale during the three days of the inauguration. The artist asked an Indian fakir to let himself be buried under the sand for three hours, leaving only his hands to emerge in a gesture of prayer. "Mother" might seem to resemble the trials that many artists of Body Art undergo with their own bodies, but the work (photo by A. Maranzano) is far from the crude style of the Body Art images. It is an impossible gesture that neutralizes the documentation effect of the photograph. The work thus becomes a paradoxical symbol and metaphor for the transience of man. The mother, the earth, prayer, fragility and death are diverse references that resound behind the apparent irony of Cattelan’s operation.
On View
G. Verzotti (ed.), Maurizio Cattelan, Milan 1999. N. Rosenthal (ed.), Apocalypse, Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art, exhibition catalogue (London, Royal Academy of Arts), London 2000, p. 93. J. Blessing (ed.), Speaking with Hands. Photographs from the Buhl Collection, exhibition catalogue (New York, Guggenheim Museum), New York 2004, pp. 52; 207.
Photo Credits
Foto M3Studio
Legal status
Purchased from Galleria Massimo de Carlo, Milan
Your e-mail *
Detail your request
e-mail sent
Error! Verify your data and try again
Your e-mail *
Your suggestion *
e-mail sent
Error! Verify your data and try again