01 02 03
Felix Gonzalez-Torres. "Untitled" (Portrait of The Fabric Workshop, a gift to Kippy), 1994. Paint on wall. Dimensions variable. Private collection. © The Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Photo credit: Matthew Suib. Felix Gonzalez-Torres. 1994. "Untitled" (Last Light) (front), 1993. 10-watt lightbulbs, plastic light sockets, extension cord, and dimmer switch. Dimensions variable. Edition of 24. Private collection. "Untitled" (Loverboy) (back), 1989. Blue fabric and curtain rod. Dimensions variable. Private collection. © The Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Photo credit: Will Brown. Felix Gonzalez-Torres. "Untitled" (Loverboy) (installation view), 1989. Blue fabric and curtain rod. Dimensions variable. Private collection. © The Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Photo credit: Will Brown.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres. "Untitled" (Portrait of The Fabric Workshop, a gift to Kippy), 1994. Paint on wall. Dimensions variable. Private collection. © The Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Photo credit: Matthew Suib.
x
Felix Gonzalez-Torres. 1994. "Untitled" (Last Light) (front), 1993. 10-watt lightbulbs, plastic light sockets, extension cord, and dimmer switch. Dimensions variable. Edition of 24. Private collection. "Untitled" (Loverboy) (back), 1989. Blue fabric and curtain rod. Dimensions variable. Private collection. © The Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Photo credit: Will Brown.
x
Felix Gonzalez-Torres. "Untitled" (Loverboy) (installation view), 1989. Blue fabric and curtain rod. Dimensions variable. Private collection. © The Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Photo credit: Will Brown.
x

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

In late 1993, Felix Gonzalez-Torres agreed to inaugurate the FWM’s then-new space at 1315 Cherry Street with an exhibition of new and selected works, chosen by the artist and placed in both prominent and discrete locations throughout the largely unfinished offices, studios, and exhibition spaces. To mark the occasion, Gonzalez-Torres extended his series of sheer blue curtains (“Untitled” (Loverboy), first made in 1989) and created a text portrait of the FWM, which poetically chronicled significant milestones in the FWM’s history as well as major cultural or world events with connection to the museum. The resulting exhibition—which also included pieces such as “Untitled” (Orpheus Twice), “Untitled” (Last Light), “Untitled” (A Corner of Baci), and “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers)—was not only a significant showing of Gonzalez-Torres’ work, it was also a sensitive introduction to the FW+M’s new home for the museum’s public.

The materials of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ work are minimal, and often involve repetition—“Untitled” (A Corner of Baci), for example, is a pile of chocolate, available to visitors to eat and enjoy, and the installation instructions give specific directions to maintain the pile at 42 pounds. While the pile shrinks on a daily basis with the appetite of each passing visitor, it is later restored to its full size. This piece, like many of Gonzalez-Torres’ sculptures, is reconstructed with each installation; that is, the candy is purchased and the piece reconstituted each time the piece is shown. In 1993, Gonzalez-Torres said that “ . . . all these pieces are indestructible because they can be endlessly duplicated” (Felix Gonzalez-Torres, A.R.T. Press, Los Angeles and New York, 1993). Inherent in his enigmatic and poetic works of art are questions about context and meaning, the nature of authority and power, and ideas of beauty and loss.

Bio
American, born Cuba 1957, died 1996
Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in Cuba and grew up in Puerto Rico. In 1979, he moved to New York City, which became his home. He attended the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 1981, before completing his BFA at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY (1983), and an MFA at the International Center for Photography at New York University (1987). For many years, Gonzalez-Torres was a leading member of the political art collective Group Material (1987–1992). With the sensibility of a poet, Gonzalez-Torres built his career on making works of art from benign materials—stacks of paper, strings of lightbulbs, plastic beads, candy, and photographs of clouds—that he transformed into delicate artistic interventions into Contemporary culture. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including a major show at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (1995), and a traveling show organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1994), with additional stops at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, and the Renaissance Society in Chicago.