After repeatedly announcing his retirement, artist Maurizio Cattelan is back in the game running his latest project, a gallery called Family Business, which opens tonight. Cattelan is programming the space with the New Museum's Massimiliano Gioni, his frequent co-conspirator and the curator the next Venice Biennale. The first show at the 9-by-14-foot space, in the storefront of the Anna Kustera gallery on West 21st Street, is titled "The Virgins," and is curated by painter Marilyn Minter.
Minter, who describes herself as a "virgin" curator, has assembled a group of "virgin" artists, many of whom are her students at the School for Visual Artists, for the show. The young artists, who include Andrew Brichler, Eric Mistretta and YouTube sensation Hennessy Youngman, are showing their work in a commercial gallery for the very first time. Also featured are more established artists Laurel Nakadate and Mika Rottenberg, whose first videos will play on a loop for the duration of the show.
New York band The Virgins will play at the opening.
In 2002 Cattelan, Gioni and curator Ali Subotnik opened the Wrong Gallery on West 20th Street. Measuring just three square feet, the Wrong Gallery was never open to visitors, but featured works that could be viewed through a window from the street. Elizabeth Peyton, Paul McCarthy, Shirana Shahbazi and Adam McEwan all showed at the Wrong Gallery before its eviction in 2005.
Cattelan has signed a three-year lease for the new space at Anna Kustera, where, in 2008, he had previously curated "The World's Smallest Art Fair," a three-week show featuring one-by-one-foot works from 50 galleries around the world.