magazines, glue and aluminum
30 by 28 by 8 in. (76.2 by 71.1 by 20.3 cm.)
Executed in 1990.
This work is in good and sound condition overall. All elements are present and stable. There are scattered minor scuff marks to the base, most notably at the top following the lines of the stacked magazine elements. There is some adhesive residue visible at the edges of the magazine elements, inherent to the artist's working method. There is some discoloration and undulation to the covers and pages of the magazine elements, consistent with the age of the work.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
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.