Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 115. Strategies.

Maurizio Cattelan


Lot Closed

December 18, 06:50 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


Maurizio Cattelan

b. 1960


magazines, glue and aluminum

30 by 28 by 8 in. (76.2 by 71.1 by 20.3 cm.)

Executed in 1990.

Private Collection
Phillips de Pury & Company New York, 13 May 2011, Lot 128
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Exh. Cat., New York, Guggenheim Museum, Maurizio Cattelan: All, November 2011 - January 2012, cat. no. 10, p. 191-2 (text)

Possessing a deep understanding and highly intellectual approach to art history that is primarily characterized by a distaste for and distrust of the institutionalization of art, Maurizio Cattelan takes on the underlying structures of the commercial art world in the irreverent Strategies from 1990. Through a long career of humorous, ironic, even prankish displays of subversion, Cattelan has encouraged viewers to engage directly with art and come to our own terms with the images presented to us, rather than rely on preconceived notions imposed by art critics, curators, collectors, writers and even other artists.

In the present work, a precarious pyramidal structure is composed of aluminum sheets and numerous issues of the contemporary art magazine Flash Art. The visual metaphor, a physical manifestation of the expressive idiom “a house of cards,” alludes to the complex balance that exists between critical publications, commercial galleries, and living artists. Each group depends on the others for financial as well as intellectual value, in an uncertain arrangement that underpins the art world’s overall credibility. In Strategies, Cattelan activates this inherent contradiction between commerce and artistic authenticity as a source of creative tension, offering a critique of its subject’s role in a market-driven art system.