Hailed simultaneously as a provocateur, prankster, and tragic poet of our times, Maurizio Cattelan has created some of the most unforgettable images in recent contemporary art. His source materials range widely, from popular culture, history, and organized religion to a meditation on the self that is at once humorous and profound. Working in a vein that can be described as hyperrealist, Cattelan creates unsettlingly veristic sculptures that reveal contradictions at the core of today’s society. While bold and irreverent, the work is also deadly serious in its scathing critique of authority and the abuse of power.
Maurizio Cattelan: All brings together virtually everything the artist has produced since 1989 and presents the works en masse, strung seemingly haphazardly from the ceiling of the Guggenheim's Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda. Hoisted by rope as if on a gallows, the suspended objects explicitly reveal the undertone of death that pervades the artist's work. More than just a powerful culmination of a career, this exhibition signifies its end. With the opening of Maurizio Cattelan: All, Cattelan announced his retirement from the art world, although what this means precisely remains to be seen.