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Maurizio Cattelan: “America”

, New York City | Arts & Culture

Maurizio Cattelan: “America”

Sit on a golden throne in the Guggenheim’s bathroom. Yes, the museum has installed an actual 18-karat-gold toilet in one of its restrooms, and anyone can use it when nature calls. Maurizio Cattelan, the artist behind the work, has said his intent was to mock the excess of art and the wealthy, and to democratize a true luxury item

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s bold, irreverent work skewers social complacencies and reimagines cultural icons. On the occasion of his 2011–12 retrospective at the Guggenheim, which featured virtually every work he had ever made suspended from the oculus of the rotunda, Cattelan announced his retirement from art making. Five years later, he returns from this self-imposed exile with a new, ongoing project at the museum. For AmericaCattelan replaced the toilet in this restroom with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent. Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art. Cattelan’s toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all—its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.

Support for Maurizio Cattelan: “America” is provided by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, Wendy Fisher, Marian Goodman Gallery, Dakis and Lietta Joannou, Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya and Alexey Kuzmichev, Galerie Perrotin, Beth Swofford, and Dasha Zhukova.

Event Details

    March 31, 2017 - July 24, 2017
    12:00 AM - 12:00 AM