Monday, September 6, 2010

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Felix Gonzalez-Torres was known for his quiet, minimal installations and sculptures. Using materials such as strings of lightbulbs, clocks, stacks of paper, or packaged hard candies, Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work is sometimes considered a reflection of his experience with AIDS. Many of Gonzalez-Torres's installations invite the viewer to take a piece of the work with them: a series of works allow viewers to take packaged candies from a pile in the corner of an exhibition space, while another series is comprised of stacks of ultrathin sheets of clear plastic or unlimited edition prints, also free for the viewer to take. These installations are replenished by the exhibitor as they diminish. The most pervasive reading of Gonzalez-Torres's work takes the processes his works undergo (lightbulbs expiring, piles of candies dispersing, etc.) as metaphor for the process of dying. One of his most recognizable works, Untitled(1992) is a billboard put up in New York City of a monochrome photograph of an unoccupied bed, made after the death of his lover, Ross, to AIDS. Gonzalez-Torres himself died of AIDS on January 9, 1996. (

Untitled (Last Light), 1993
String of lights

Untitled (A Portrait of Ross in LA), 1991
Multi-colored candies, 175lbs

Untitled (The End), 1990
Offset printed sheets of paper, stacked
22 x 28 x 22 in.

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