The blockbuster retrospective of Maurizio Catalan at the Guggenheim in New York is entitled “All,” a fitting title as it purports to be the artist’s final retrospective exhibition. One of the sculptures in that exhibition bears an astonishing similarity with a sculpture in our exhibition by the idiosyncratic Pop Art master, William Kent. Catalan’s 36-ft tall marble monument entitled “L.O.V.E.” was unveiled just outside the Milan Stock Exchange in September, 2010, to much controversy.
However, William Kent beat Catalan to the sardonic punchline by seventeen years! Kent was also first to give his 55-inch tall finger flipping sculpture the same title, “LOVE,” carved into the back of the hand. Kent said, “This monumental hand pointing to heaven is respectfully dedicated to the art experts who have unconditionally rejected my work through the years.” Hmmmm…there’s an irony about “art experts” who rejected Kent only to return nearly two decades later to acclaim the nearly identical form by another hand. No wonder Kent, at age 92, continues to flip the bird at the art establishment.