Maurizio Cattelan, MISS YOU!, 2017; GAME OVER, 2017; NEVER AGAIN, 2017; TRUE LOVE, 2017; THANK YOU, 2017; NO GODS, 2017. Watercolor on paper. Each 31 1/2 × 23 3/5 in (80 × 60 cm). Courtesy the artist
For nearly three decades, Cattelan has provoked controversy and amusement by constantly challenging the artistic, cultural, and social status quo. In his idiosyncratic and irreverent works, Cattelan pinpoints and skewers the structures of power that bind and shape the art world, which often serves as a surrogate for wider concerns. From audacious sculptural works to witty publishing and curatorial projects, he frequently favors methods of disruption, antagonism, and even theft. His satire extends into art history’s hallowed halls, with figures ranging from the Old Masters to Pablo Picasso to Joseph Beuys making appearances in works that are both blasphemous and masterful in their own right. In recent years since his 2011-12 Guggenheim Museum exhibition, Cattelan has courted retirement and shied away from making new works, but in honor of the Museum’s 40th anniversary, he has created six unique photorealist watercolors which merge the graphics of political propaganda and the fist of Cattelan’s iconic effigy of Pope John Paul II felled by a meteor.