Hailed simultaneously as a provocateur, prankster and tragic poet of our times, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan has created some of the most unforgettable images in recent contemporary art–most notoriously with “The Ninth Hour,” his 1999 sculpture of Pope John Paul II struck by a meteorite. Cattelan’s subjects range widely, being derived from popular culture, history and organized religion; while bold and irreverent, the work is also deadly serious in its scathing cultural critique. Maurizio Cattelan: All accompanies the Guggenheim Museum’s retrospective survey of the artist. For the exhibition, the museum has devised a site-specific installation intended to sidestep the totalizing effect of a retrospective, and for this catalogue the museum has produced an equally unique response to this dilemma and to the conventions of the catalogue format. All is a faux-leather-bound hardcover with gold stamping and thin paper that is designed to resemble an old textbook or bible. The volume catalogues almost every work of Cattelan’s from the late ’80s to the present within a double-column page format, reproducing them in full color with accompanying entries. One of the wittiest and most beautiful art books of recent years, All includes a detailed critical overview by Nancy Spector, documenting not only Cattelan’s artistic output but also his ongoing activities as a curator, editor and publisher, plus a comprehensive exhibition history and bibliography. Needless to say, All is indeed the definitive Cattelan bible.
Maurizio Cattelan (born 1960) began his career as a furniture designer, transitioning to art through his realistic sculptures. He has had solo exhibitions at some of the most distinguished museums in the world, such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has also founded and edited magazines such as Charley, Permanent Food and Toilet Paper.