Maurizio Cattelan - Contemporary Art London Friday, October 13, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris

  • Literature

    F. Bonami, N. Spector, B. Vanderlinden and M. Gioni, Maurizio Cattelan, London, 2003, p. 189 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Pressure on the vanguard artist to break new ground not only leads to stunning and provocative results, but also encourages novelty, shock, and extremism.” (G. Silk, “Myths and Meanings in Manzoni’s ‘Merda d’artista.’ – Piero Manzoni”, Art Journal, Fall 1993)

    But even narcissism has a mirror image in contemporary self-portraiture—self-mockery. In the present lot, Joseph Beuys’ Suit, a miniature reproduction of Joseph Beuys’ canonical felt suit, which the late German artist had worn during his action Isolation Unit (1971), first presented at the Migros Museum in Zurich in 2000. However playful, Cattelan’s identification with Beuys’ underscores some of the more profound aspects of his art. Like Beuys, Cattelan uses his own image to bear meaning to his work, and his perpetual claim “I am not really an artist”, is simply an inversion of Beuys’ declaration that “every man is an artist”. Beuys presented himself as a shaman, a figure capable of healing the ills of the world through ritual and incantation. Cattelan, on the other hand, is a trickster, who stirs up trouble in an all-too-complacent world.


Joseph Beuys' Suit

Felt suit and wooden hanger.
48 1/2 x 24 x 1 1/2 in. (123.2 x 61 x 3.8 cm).
Signed “cattelan” on a label accompanying the work. This work is from an edition of ten plus three artist's proofs.

£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £33,600

Contemporary Art

14 Oct 2006, 7pm