“Untitled” was created almost three decades ago by Félix González-Torres, an artist whose poetic, political, and open-ended works remain deeply influential. Here, two pristinely sculptural stacks of paper are printed with seemingly contradictory declarations. Like Tavares Strachan’s neon You Belong Here (Flamingo II) exhibited across the ICA’s exterior, these deceptively simple statements might lead to a range of questions and desires. What might it mean to consider them in relation to actual places (art institutions, cities, nations)? To emotions or states of mind? To read them through a lens of despair, or one of optimism?
Print on paper, endless copies
Courtesy of de la Cruz Collection, Miami, Florida
Gallery 4 – True Farr Luck Gallery
“I suppose I would be satisfied if [the audience] took action sometimes, or if it caused them to be critical, moved, inspired. Or to celebrate difference and the idea of change and renewal, the chance for love. I’d like to propose once more the “radical” idea that we can make this a better place for everyone.” —Félix Gonzalez-Torres
Born 1967, Guáimaro, Cuba; Died 1996, Miami, Florida
Félix Gonzalez-Torres was a conceptual artist known for his participatory installations that incorporate a range of media and materials, including photography, sculpture, and ready-made objects. His work addresses issues of identity, desire, originality, love, loss, and the private versus the public domain. Gonzalez-Torres used a minimalist aesthetic vocabulary and postmodern tactics of appropriating motifs and materials, including stacks of paper, puzzles, candy, strings of lights, beads, to create installations that invited physical and intellectual participation.
Gonzales-Torres earned his BFA in photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and his MFA from the International Center of Photography in New York. Select solo exhibitions: Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland (2015); Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea (2012); Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland (2010); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge (2007); El Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales in Montevideo, Uruguay (2000); and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (1999). Select group exhibitions: WIELS, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels (2010); Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2006–07); Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (1997); Venice Biennale (1993); Sydney Biennial (1996); Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (1994); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1995); Artists Space (1987); White Columns (1988); and the Whitney Biennial (1991). Collections Include: Albright Knox, Art Gallery Ontario, Centre Georges Pompidou, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museums, MoMA, Perez Art Museum, SFMOMA, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Select awards: Gordon Matta-Clark Foundation Award (1991), Cintas Foundation Fellowship (1989), and Pollock-Krasner Grant (1989).