|"Untitled" (Revenge), 1991
Light-blue candies, individually wrapped in cellophane, endless supply.
Dimensions vary with installation.
Ideal weight: 325 lbs.
Courtesy of The Collection of Barbara and Howard Morse, New York
|Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) was a Cuban artist who grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to New York City. Gonzalez-Torres's work subtly combines personal experiences and ideas from art theory with political points of view. His installations of piles of paper and sweets indicate a direct connection with the Conceptual and Minimal Art of the 1960s. He had his first solo show at Andrea Rosen Gallery in 1990, where he continued to show his work until his death from AIDS. His estate is represented by Andrea Rosen Gallery, where the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation is also located.
"Gonzalez-Torres's work subtly combines personal experiences and ideas from art theory with political points of view. His installations of piles of paper and sweets indicate a direct connection with the Conceptual and Minimal Art of the 1960s. But by inviting museum visitors to help themselves to a sheet of paper or piece of candy, these works negate the claim to artistic autonomy that is characteristic of Minimal art by questioning the uniqueness of the artwork. Simply through their selection and arrangement, everyday items such as store-bought candies become infused with a poetic aura. His work transfers the private emotion into the public arena, making us aware of the general relevance of such themes as illness, death, love, and loss.
"Untitled (Public Opinion), a 700-pound spill of black-rod licorice pieces, was made as a protest against the heightened nationalism he witnessed during the first Gulf War. For Gonzalez-Torres, the rods of licorice resembled missiles. Free for the taking and replaceable, Gonzalez-Torres's perpetually shrinking and swelling sculptures defy the macho solidity of Minimalist form, while playfully expanding upon its ideas and materials."
[From Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present; Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996). In 1995 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum organized a retrospective of his work. Gonzalez-Torres died in 1996 at the age of 38.]
contact: joy.garnett @ gmail dot com