If an artist whose work you collected were having a retrospective, would you loan back your piece for inclusion in the exhibition? It would be at a world-renowned museum and garner a huge amount of press. Oh, and, by they way, your valuable artwork would be suspended from a truss in the museum’s rotunda with over 100 other pieces by the artist. Sound OK to you? Two private owners reportedly said, "No," but, in this fashion, almost all of the artwork made by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan in his 21-year career is on view at the Guggenheim Museum, and All is really something to see.
From the moment you enter the Guggenheim your focus is drawn inward and upward. As you ascend the ramp, gallery walls bare, your free audio tour will inform you that Cattelan, ever the prankster, once rented a booth at an art fair then sublet it to an advertising company that used it for a perfume billboard. He once did a gallery show for which he closed the gallery and placed a small sign on the door reading “Be Back Soon”. Well, guess what? He once declared himself retired and staged a comprehensive retrospective with his life’s work strung up like a packed up puppet show, and you came to see it. Everything was stripped of context and docents wore buttons that said “ask me about art.” There were taxidermy animals and uncanny wax sculptures, and it was fun!
After you do see it (and you should go on the museum's pay-what-you-will Saturday nights), continue to partake is a little bit of everything with an assortment of Turkish meze at Peri Ela.
Venue: Guggenheim Museum
Artist: Maurizio Cattelan
Street: 89th – 90th Streets, 5th – Lexington Aves
Eats: Peri Ela