Maurizio Cattelan: Blenheim Art Foundation Exhibition Announced For Autumn




The first solo exhibition in twenty years of work by Maurizio Cattelan is to be mounted at Blenheim Palace this autumn, running from 12 September – 27 October 2019.

America sets the tone for what should be a bold, exciting and thought-provoking show

This is Cattelan’s most significant solo exhibition in the UK and will feature new works specially made for the show. The new works will be joined by a number of his most iconic pieces as part of a themed selection displayed throughout the 18th century Palace, engaging with Blenheim’s history and unique setting.

Maurizio Cattelan. AMERICA, 2016. Installation view: Maurizio Cattelan: “America” 2016, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Image by MENOMENOPIU ARCHITECTS. Courtesy, Maurizio Cattelan's Archive.

Maurizio Cattelan. AMERICA, 2016. Installation view: Maurizio Cattelan: “America” 2016, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Image by MENOMENOPIU ARCHITECTS. Courtesy, Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive.

Maurizio Cattelan is best known for his hyper-realistic sculptures that take inspiration from pop culture and history in order to make sharp and satirical comments on society, power and authority. The exhibition will notably feature America (2016) – one of Cattelan’s most recognisable works – a solid 18-Karat gold toilet which will be installed inside the Palace, adjacent to Sir Winston Churchill’s birth room. As a fully functioning toilet, visitors will be welcome to use it during their visit and experience a rare individual encounter with one of contemporary art’s most famous works.

The piece was created in 2016 and first exhibited at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where over 100,000 visitors queued to use it.

Further artworks to be included in the exhibition will be announced later in the year. Cattelan will be the sixth artist to present a solo exhibition at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Palace, following Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jenny Holzer and Yves Klein.

Maurizio Cattelan said ‘I am constantly inspired by the past and how nothing has really changed, so to show my work at Blenheim Palace – a place full of history and humanity – is significant to me.’

Michael Frahm, Director of Blenheim Art Foundation said ‘We are happy to continue our mission to bring great contemporary art to Blenheim Palace. Maurizio Cattelan has been producing groundbreaking work for decades, so it is a proud moment for us to present his first UK solo show in twenty years. As the first artwork to be announced, America sets the tone for what should be a bold, exciting and thought-provoking show.’

Edward Spencer-Churchill, Founder of Blenheim Art Foundation said ‘Maurizio Cattelan is one of the most singular and daring artists working today. His work can make us laugh and quake in turn, with its acerbic comments on the world we live in. I believe that his wry wit, stoicism and fantastical vision are exactly what we need in these times of global flux and uncertainty. We are delighted to welcome his work at Blenheim in the expectation that it will stimulate debate, conversation and expand our minds.’

Maurizio Cattelan (born in Padua, 1960) is an Italian Conceptual artist. Cattelan is admired for his satirical sense of humour often conveyed through hyperrealistic sculpture. He takes inspiration from pop culture and history, as well as his own upbringing in twentieth-century Italy to make work that profoundly questions socially ingrained norms and expectations. Cattelan’s work has been shown in major institutions and museums around the world: he participated in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2011 Venice Biennales as well the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and was the subject of a 2011 retrospective titled “All” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and a 2016 retrospective at La Monnaie de Paris. He has exhibited artworks at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, and the Royal Academy in London. The artist lives and works between Milan and New York.

Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2019

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