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Leeum Museum of Art presents Maurizio Cattelan’s solo exhibition WE

by taeshik.kim 2023. 1. 30.


1억 바나나·운석에 맞은 교황…권위·고정관념 비튼 작가 카텔란
황희경  / 2023-01-30 16:00:53
리움미술관서 한국 첫 개인전…2011년 미국 구겐하임전 이후 최대 규모




1억 바나나·운석에 맞은 교황…권위·고정관념 비튼 작가 카텔란

(서울=연합뉴스) 황희경 기자 = 2019년 미국 마이애미에서 열린 아트페어 ′아트바젤 마이애미′에서 바나나 1개를 덕트 테이프로 벽에 붙여 놓은 작품 ′코미디언′이 12만달러(약 1억4천만원)에




30 JANUARY 2023




Leeum Museum of Art presents Maurizio Cattelan’s solo exhibition WE


Leeum Museum of Art is pleased to present WE, a solo exhibition by Maurizio Cattelan (b.1960, Padua, Italy) from January 31st through July 16th of 2023.


Comprised of 38 works from the three decades since his emergence in the 1990s, this is the Italian artist’s first solo exhibition in South Korea, and the largest survey of his oeuvre since his 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 



Taking place in the lobby and across the three floors of M2 at Leeum, WE features works of sculpture, mural, photography, and installation that embody the artist’s deadpan humor, defiance, and provocation.



On view are animal taxidermy works such as Ghosts (2021) and Bidibidobidiboo (1996), hyperreal effigies including La Nona Ora (1999), and variations of self-portraits like Untitled (2001), Charlie (2003), and We (2010).


WE also brings forth some among the most stimulating works by Cattelan - Him(2001), an effigy of a boy with Adolf Hitler’s face kneeling in prayer and Comedian (2019), a banana duct-taped to a wall that stirred a chain of controversies when debuted at the 2019 Art Basel Miami Beach. 



With no formal training in fine art, Maurizio Cattelan started his career by designing furniture after working various odd jobs. The unconventional trajectory of his life and career has contributed to his artistic persona as an intruder and provocateur in the art world, audaciously crossing boundaries and challenging stereotypes.



Cattelan’s hyperrealistic sculptures and paintings are straightforward and recognizable, while also cleverly and stealthily appropriating art history and popular culture. Strewn with satirical and cynical anecdotes, his works audaciously demand us to confront uncomfortable truths and overturn our foundations of perception.


Distancing himself from the role of an artist who preaches or enlightens, Cattelan voluntarily caricatures and offers himself up to accusations of fraud, ridicule and criticism.



Ironically, the very antics that garnered him a reputation as a provocateur, prankster, and even a swindler at times, render him a keen critic of reality piercing through human nature and contemporary society.


From all corners of the exhibition, the gaze of multiple Cattelans as intruder, police officer, priest, criminal, artist, and boy invite us to partake in a Cattelanesque theater of human comedy and the provocative jokester intricately mobilizes Chaplin-tyle comic devices throughout the space, forging istful bonds in the face of the cruelty of life.



WE, the title of the exhibition, borrowed from one of the artist’s works, is more than a simple reference to the piece; it questions what exactly is meant by the word: Who are "we"? What makes us who "we" are? And how are "we" related?


Cattelan's practice challenges us to reflect on these questions while considering the notions of oppression, anxiety, authority, religion, love, family, life and death, altogether encouraging deeper conversations and facilitating greater solidarity.




An image of a pope struck down by a meteorite (La Nona Ora,1999) resonates beyond the religion and region it represents, ushering in a broader debate on the meaning of authority and oppression.


The nine Carrara marble sculptures reminiscent  of corpses (All, 2007) commemorate and remind us of a recent tragedy nearby, circling us back to our stark realities and gently touching our lives. 



In conjunction with the exhibition, an extensive array of programs navigate Cattelan’s work from multiple perspectives. There will be an artist talk by the Italian curator and critic Francesco Bonami and a curator talk by Sungwon Kim, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Leeum Museum of Art.

Lecture Series invites guest speakers Youngmin Kim (professor of political science, Seoul National University), Dongjin Seo (professor of intermedia art, Kaywon University of Art and Design), and Geun-un Lim (art and design critic and historian). Image Writing Workshop by Hyeryeong Jang (writer and poet) invites the public to rewrite descriptions of the artist’s major oeuvres. 



Furthermore, a Reading Room welcomes the visitors to an archive of publications created by Cattelan, and Reading Room Seminar probes the role and meaning of art publishing.





About the artist
Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960, Padua, Italy) is one of the most controversial artists today with his humor and provocation that challenges the heart of art institution as well as society at large since the late 1980s. His solo exhibitions have been presented in numerous international institutions, including Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milano (2021); UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2021); Blenheim Palace, Woodstock (2019); Le Monnaie de Paris, Paris (2016); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016 and 2011); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2013); Palazzo Reale, Milano (2010); and Tate Modern, London (2007). His work has also been exhibited in major group exhibitions, including the
Yokohama Triennale (2017 and 2001); seven editions of the Venice Biennale (2011, 2009, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997, and 1993); the Gwangju Biennale (2010); the Biennale of Sydney (2008); and the Whitney Biennial (2004). Cattelan’s editorial projects include magazines Permanent Food, Charley, and TOILETPAPER (co-founded with Pierpaolo Ferrari).




Curatorial initiatives as part of his critique of art institutions include co-curating the 6th Caribbean Biennial with Jens Hoffmann (1995); co-founding The Wrong Gallery in New York with Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick; and curating The Artist is Present at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai (2018)