Published by Steidl. Edited by Julie Ault. Text by Robert Storr, Miwon Kwon, et al.
Félix González-Torres, one of the most influential artists of his generation, lived and worked resolutely according to his own democratic ideology, determined to "make this a better place for everyone." Combining principles of Conceptual Art, minimalism and political activism, González-Torres' arsenal included public billboards, giveaway piles of candy or posters and ordinary objects (clocks, mirrors, light fixtures) often used to startling effect. His work challenged notions of public and private space, originality, authorship and the authoritative structure in which he functioned. With this volume, now in its second edition, Gonzalez-Torres's editor Julie Ault has amassed a comprehensive overview of this important artist. In the spirit of the artist's method, Ault rethinks the very idea of what a monograph should be. The book contains texts by Robert Storr and Miwon Kwon, among other notables, as well as significant critical essays, exhibition statements, transcripts from lectures, personal correspondence and writings that influenced González-Torres and his work. Ample visual documentation adds another decisive layer of content. We see works not just in their finality, but often witness their transformation over a lifespan.
Published by Radius Books/Artpace, San Antonio. Text by Matthew Drutt.
In celebration of its 15th anniversary in 2010, Artpace in San Antonio, Texas, mounted an ambitious state-wide exhibition of 336 seminal billboards created by Cuban-born artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996). Developed with special permission from the artist's estate, this presentation was the first-ever comprehensive survey of Gonzalez-Torres' billboard works in the US. Situated deliberately in the public's path in four cities (Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio), these artworks gracefully interrupted daily routines with poignant reflections on life, love and humanity. The transcendent quality of Gonzalez-Torres' work was magnified in the Texas landscape, and the project garnered international attention for its unprecedented commemoration of this remarkable body of work. This book covers all the billboard pieces and serves as a mini-retrospective of this critical part of Gonzales-Torres' career.
In April 2006, the Department of State announced that the late Cuban-born conceptual artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres would represent the United States at the 2007 Venice Biennale (June 1-November 21). This much sought-after and long-out-of-print volume, reissued by the Guggenheim Museum for the occasion, was originally published to accompany the artist's solo exhibition at the Museum in 1995, one year before his untimely death at the age of 38. Gonzalez-Torres wanted a readable book, not a catalogue per se--something, he said, that one could take to the beach. Pleasure was an integral part of his art (and his life). While he understood that art was innately political and, by necessity, a vehicle for cultural criticism, he believed that social critique and enjoyment were not, by any means, mutually exclusive. For Gonzalez-Torres, beauty was a tool for seduction and a means of contestation. Written by Nancy Spector in close consultation with the artist and reflecting and expanding upon his ideas at the time, Felix Gonzalez-Torres presents a thematic overview of the artist's rich, many-layered practice, including the signature paper stacks, candy spills, light strings and billboards--and demonstrates his continued resonance today. Nancy Spector is Chief Curator at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and U.S. Commissioner to the 2007 Venice Biennale.
Published by Guggenheim Museum. Edited by Nancy Spector. Conversation with Ann Goldstein, Susanne Ghez, Amada Cruz.
This summer, Felix Gonzalez-Torres represents the United States at the 2007 Venice Biennale, only the second time in the modern history of the Venice Biennale that an artist has represented the U.S. posthumously. Published to accompany this landmark exhibition, Felix Gonzalez-Torres: America features full-color plates of each of the works presented, including one that has never before been realized: it is comprised of two adjoining reflecting pools that form a figure eight, the sign of infinity--both a silent mirror on our collective culture and a beacon of hope. Exhibition curator Nancy Spector, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, provides an introductory essay on the artist, and curators Amada Cruz, Susanne Ghez and Ann Goldstein discuss in conversation their proposal of Gonzalez-Torres for the 1995 Biennale.