Controversial, thoughtful, hilarious. Italian-born, New York-based artist Maurizio Cattelan, known for his hyper-realistic sculpture pranks and generally stirring things up, is currently showing all of his work in a new “anti-retrospective” at the Guggenheim. No, really, it’s basically all there. Maurizio Cattelan: All features more than 130 of his provocative works hanging in the middle of the Wright-designed rotunda, tied up into a giant, swinging heap. If you get a chance, you should take a closer look in person before January 22. In the meantime, here are our favorite pieces created by the purportedly retiring artist — from the pathetic Hitler to the meteorite-stricken Pope to the trophy of a trophy wife. See some of Cattelan’s best pranks in our gallery.
Cattelan’s comedic La Nona Ora (1999) was vandalized in Poland in 2001, presumably because it’s (GASP!) blasphemous. A realistic wax sculpture of Pope John Paul II lies prostate mid-ceremony, crushed by a meteorite, perhaps symbolizing the figurehead’s un-divine-like humanity in the face of nature.