Maurizio Cattelan: Felix


A gigantic cat skeleton stands in the center of a large atrium with its back arched and its tail pointed straight up in the air.
  1. Long A cat skeleton stands two-stories-tall and ready to pounce, with its spine arched, tailbone on end, and fanged mouth hanging open. It is poised on all fours in the middle of a dimly lit, blue-tinged large gallery space and its white form is dramatically illuminated as if caught in the night.
Maurizio Cattelan, Felix, 2001. Oil on polyvinyl resin and fiberglass; 26 × 6 x 20 ft. (7.9 × 1.8 × 6.1 m). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Edlis/Neeson Art Acquisition Fund, 2001.22. © 2001 Maurizio Cattelan
Photo © MCA Chicago


Felix, a 20-feet-high, 26-foot-long skeleton created for the MCA by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is showcased in the Kovler atrium. Cattelan’s work—involving distortions of scale and reality—probes issues of originality, popular culture, humor, and fear. Inspired by the public’s fascination with the origins of Sue, the popular Tyrannosaurus rex on view at the Field Museum, Cattelan has transformed a household cat into an ominously gargantuan figure. While challenging viewers’ perceptions of the subject matter and its scale, Cattelan also questions notions of both artifact and exhibition. Naming the skeleton after the cartoon character Felix the Cat, Cattelan jokingly undermines historical fact with fiction to reactivate the realm of childhood wonderment within a contemporary art public space.

Felix is coordinated by Manilow Senior Curator Francesco Bonami.