Artist of the Month

May 2017
Maurizio Cattelan

b. 1961

In his major retrospective ‘Maurizio Cattelan: All’ at the Guggenheim Museum New York in 2011, Cattelan rejected a conventional display, in order to question traditional practices in his usual anarchic and experimental manner.  Instead he chose to suspend a waterfall of objects from the ceiling including the penitent Hitler Him, a slumped taxidermy donkey and an engorged statue of Picasso, all hanging like a surrealist chandelier through the centre of the gallery’s iconic spiral staircase.

In the early 1990’s Cattelan founded a football team made up of of North African immigrants. The Arts Council Collection’s small-scale sculpture AC Forniture Sud shows a team line up of all black African players with the sponsor’s logo ‘Rauss’ emblazoned on their chests. ‘Rauss’ is derived from a Nazi slogan meaning to ‘get out.’ This highly-politicised sculpture utilises the aspirational and nationalistic model of a football team to highlight contemporary prejudices around immigration.

The artist links the abhorrent treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany with contemporary treatment of immigrants in Italy showing that xenophobia is not consigned to the dark periods of history. As in his exhibition at the Guggenheim, Cattelan defies convention to presents a bold and concise statement, albeit on a vastly different scale.

AC Forniture Sud can be see at the Walker Art Gallery as part of our National Partnership Programme exhibition, Transparency, until 18 June.

 

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyondThis website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.