The art of the
late Felix Gonzalez- Torres took many different forms during his
relatively brief career but it was always motivated by his fervent desire
for dialogue and community. His self-portrait in the form of a personal
chronology is painted in two bands above eye level on the galleryís four
walls. According to the artistís wishes, new events or significant
moments related to his life may be added to the work each time it is
installed. To enter this space, viewers must walk through Untitled
(Water), a beaded curtain that refers to the artistís deep connection to
the sea, stemming from his childhood in Cuba and his life in Miami. He
invited viewers to take part in the metaphorical and literal evolution of
his workís meaning, and our participation grants it a kind of
perpetually renewed life and relevance.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, untitled (Water), 1995, plastic beads and metal rod, installation dimensions variable (installation view)
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, untitled, 1995, paint on wall, dimensions vary with installation (installation view)
Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s first solo exhibition was presented in New York in 1984, and during the last decade his work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including El Jardin Salvaje, Fundación Caja de Pensiones, Madrid, The Body, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1991); 45th Venice Biennale (1993); About Place: Recent Art of the Americas, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Public Information: Desire, Disaster, Document, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1995); and NowHere, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, and Jurassic Technologies Revenant, the 10th Biennale of Sydney (1996). His work has also been presented in solo exhibitions at New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1988); Brooklyn Museum, New York (1989); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (annually 1990-93, and 1995, 1997); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1992); Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin, and Museum in Progress, Vienna (1993); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, traveling to Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (1994); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1996); and Sprengel Museum Hannover, with venues at St. Gallen Kunstmuseum, Switzerland, and Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (1997-98).
1981, 1983 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Independent Study Program
1987 International Center for Photography, New York University, M.F.A.
The Art Institute of Chicago. About Place: Recent Art of the Americas (1995). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Madeleine Grynsztejn and Dave Hickey.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1995). Exhibition catalogue, text by Nancy Spector.
Bartman, William S., ed. Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Los Angeles: A.R.T. Press, 1993. Essay by Susan Cahan, short story by Jan Avgikos, and interview with the artist by Tim Rollins.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California. Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1994). Exhibition catalogue, texts by Amada Cruz, Russell Ferguson, Ann Goldstein, bell hooks, Joseph Kosuth, and Charles Merewether.