Press Release

Who has the power over art, society, life, and death? Using satire and humour, provocation and seriousness Maurizio Cattelan, one of the most prominent and irreverent artists of our times, questions the conventions of society in general and the art world in particular. The exhibition The Third Hand includes several of Maurizio Cattelan’s most iconic works alongside pieces that he has chosen from Moderna Museet’s collection.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Maurizio Cattelin, The Third Hand

Moderna Museet, Stockholm (Sweden)

24.02.2024 - 12.01.2025




Born in Italy in 1960, Maurizio Cattelan has been living in Milan and New York for the past thirty years. The scrutiny of power and belief systems is a theme that runs through his entire body of work but he leaves the interpretation of his artworks to the viewer:

A pope is struck down by a meteorite, pigeons watch us from above, a shrunk Sistine Chapel lets us see all the amazing details at eye level, a dictator becomes a pathetic figure, perhaps asking for forgiveness, a monumental fascist greeting is nullified by missing fingers, a man and a dog seem to share a common dream or death…

The exhibition’s title is open to interpretation. Perhaps it is Maurizio Cattelan himself who is the third hand, who inserts himself between the institution Moderna Museet and its collection to interrogate and shine a critical light: Which art should be part of a collection? Which works should be exhibited? What or who decides what is important art?

Maurizio Cattelan believes in the power of art, not authorities. He has been quoted as saying that “power, any power, has a sell-by date, just like milk”.

The Third Hand comprises six exhibition halls in which Maurizio Cattelan’s work meets artworks by Swedish and international artists from Moderna Museet’s collection, including Eva Aeppli, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Cecilia Edefalk, Lena Svedberg, Rosemarie Trockel and the editorial staff of the underground magazine PUSS.

In each exhibition hall, art takes on a new perspective on power. Positions are turned around and power relationships shift: between art and religion, art and politics, art and military force, art and power as an abstract, subtle phenomenon. Last but not least, Maurizio Cattelan points at conditions and beings that find themselves both furthest down and beyond the food change of society and power—avenging them in this quiet and timeless way.

The exhibition’s curator, Museum Director Gitte Ørskou, says:

“This is the second time that we have invited an artist to delve into our vast collection. Maurizio Cattelan’s practice is rooted in conceptual art, asking questions about and of our reality. As a curator and founder of art magazines, he has been in constant dialogue with art. His critical and insightful view of our collection gives art back its power.”

Curator: Moderna Museet’s Director Gitte Ørskou.

This is the fourth chapter of the museum’s new collection display where artworks from Moderna Museet’s collection are presented in three large-scale thematic exhibitions. Together, the exhibitions explore a variety of art historical narratives, replacing the earlier chronological format. Over time, the audience will thus encounter more works from Moderna Museet’s renowned collection.

Exhibition 24 February 2024 - 12 January 2025. Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Exercisplan - SE-11149 Stockholm (Sweden). T +46 8 520 235 00. Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 10am–6pm, Tuesday and Friday 10am–8pm





Maurizio Cattelan, The Third Hand, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Maurizio Cattelan, La Nona Ora, 1999. Installation view, Not Afraid of Love at the Monnaie de Paris, 2016–17. Photo: Zeno Zotti. Courtesy Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive.

Maurizio Cattelan, La Nona Ora, 1999. Installation view, Not Afraid of Love at the Monnaie de Paris, 2016–17. Photo: Zeno Zotti. Courtesy Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive.

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved