Blenheim Art Foundation will host a solo exhibition by Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace this autumn, running from 12 September – 27 October 2019. This is Cattelan’s first and most significant solo exhibition in the UK in twenty years and will feature new works specially made for the show. The new works will be joined by a number of his most iconic pieces as part of a themed selection displayed throughout the 18th century Palace, engaging with Blenheim’s history and unique setting.
Maurizio Cattelan is best known for his hyper-realistic sculptures that take inspiration from pop culture and history in order to make sharp and satirical comments on society, power and authority. The exhibition will notably feature America (2016) – one of Cattelan’s most recognisable works – a solid 18-Karat gold toilet which will be installed inside the Palace, adjacent to Sir Winston Churchill’s birth room. As a fully functioning toilet, visitors will be welcome to use it during their visit and experience a rare individual encounter with one of contemporary art’s most famous works.
In the context of the opulent 18th century Palace, America can be seen as a witty comment on the social, political and economic disparities; an extravagantly luxurious object made available for public use. The work highlights the inescapable commonalities of the human body despite social and economic differences. It is emblematic of Cattelan’s practice in its mixture of irreverent humour and astute social commentary.
Portrait by Pierpaolo Ferrari.
Below image of America (2016) at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Image by MENOMENOPIU ARCHITECTS. Courtesy, Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive.