UCCA was founded in 2007 by Guy and Myriam Ullens as the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. In 2017 it evolved into UCCA Group, under the ownership and management of a new group of patrons and shareholders.
UCCA Beijing, housed in a former factory dating from the 1950s in the 798 Art District, was renovated by architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Qingyun, but a further redevelopment of the spaces was completed in 2019. The museum, accredited to the Municipal Office of culture in Beijing, has a total area of 10 thousand square meters, spread over three buildings and operates as a “private non-corporate unit” under Chinese law.
In addition, the UCCA Group manages related businesses, some of which are for profit. These include: UCCA Kids, art education school; UCCA Store, which covers retail and is related to artists and exhibitions; UCCA Lab, which produces collaborations with commercial brands; and moreover it is actively expanding its presence throughout China in close relationship with external partners, starting with the opening, in October 2018, of a second exhibition space, UCCA Dune in Aranya, Beidaihe, along the coast of the Bohai Sea, a few hours’ drive from Beijing.
In summary: a global dialogue at three hundred and sixty degrees, where the cardinal points and geographical areas count only for the contents and for their peculiar diversity.
Since its foundation, UCCA has presented more than 140 exhibitions; among these we remember the opening, in 2007: ’85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art, curated by Fei Dawei. There were also solo shows dedicated to Chinese and international artists, including those of Liu Wei, Yu Hong, Song Dong, Elmgreen & Dragset, William Kentridge, Pawel Althamer, Not Vital, Lawrence Weiner, and so on. Through these exhibitions and related programs, UCCA has built very strong links between the Chinese art scene and the rest of the world, and has proposed works and authors that otherwise would not have landed in China.
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art is currently managed by Philip Tinari, general manager; Windy Zhu Chief Operating Officer; You Yang, deputy director.
Now, UCCA Beijing announces a retrospective, from 20 November 2021 to 20 February 2022, dedicated to Maurizio Cattelan, and curated by Francesco Bonami. The title of the exhibition is “The Last Judgment”. The exhibition will bring together approx thirty works, starting from Family Lexicon (1989) up to the controversial “sculptures” that involve, in the shock of the aesthetic proposal (almost a punch in the stomach), the figures and roles of John Kennedy (on his deathbed), Pope Giovanni Paolo II (struck by the meteorite) and Hitler (kneeling and in the corner).
In the intentions of the curator and the management staff, “it will be a journey into the mind and vision of the most famous Italian artist of the modern era, because Cattelan’s art makes you think, is fun and stimulating, and delves into the depths of the human experience to show the fears and emotions that govern our entire existence “.
For Cattelan, certainly the most surprising and lively artist of that generation who was able to give a radical change to the most introspective and stale flows of the nineties, this is a great return, a sort of second journey of Marco Polo, given that in the first he had landed there as a curator for the exhibition “The Artist is Present” at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, a title obviously inspired by the famous performance that Marina Abramović held at the MoMA in New York in 2010.
With the best wishes for a full critical and public success.
798 Art District No.4
+86 10 5780 0200
Aranya Gold Coast, Beidaihe
Tel: +86 335 7522 652
Maurizio Cattelan, Super Noi, 1992, detail. Photocopies on acetate, 50 pieces, 29.5 x 21 cm each, ph courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Maurizio Cattelan, Senza titolo, 1996, photographic print, ph courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milano
Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled, 1998, mask, 32 x 21 x 24 cm, papier mache, painting, costume (greeting visitors in the entrance area of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, ph courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled, 2001, stainless steel, composite wood, electric motor, electric light, doorbell, computer, 29.8 x 12.1 cm, ph courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
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