Published by Siglio. Edited by Lisa Pearson, Richard Kraft. Text by Mónica de la Torre, Ann Lauterbach.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-96) is one of the most significant artists to have emerged in the 1980s. An artist whose beautiful, restrained and often mutable works are abundant in compelling contradictions, Gonzalez-Torres was committed to a democratic form of art informed as much by the aesthetic and conceptual as by politics. His work challenges authority and our obeisance to it, dissolves the delineations between public and private, and creates a rich, open field into which the viewer is invited to complete works with her own inferences, imagination, and actions.
The photostats are a series of fixed works with white text on black fields framed behind glass to create a reflective surface bringing the viewers' reflection into the work. Made at the height of the AIDS crisis, these profoundly suggestive lists of political, cultural, and historical references disrupt hierarchies of information and linear chronology, asking how we receive and prioritize information, how we remember and forget, and how we continuously create new meaning. The photostats also recall the screens (the television, and now the computer) which furiously deliver information from which we must parse substance from surface and choose what to assimilate and what to reject.
This elegant volume is a discrete space in which to closely read the photostats with sustained attention: it opens from both sides, reproducing the framed photostats as objects on one, and from the other, details of the texts can be read as writing. In between the two, original writings by Mónica de la Torre and Ann Lauterbach, explore adjacent territories, signaling the multiple entry points for understanding the works.
Published by Koenig Books. Text by Elena Filipovic, Danh Vo, Carol Bove, Tino Sehgal.
Between 2010 and 2011, curator Elena Filipovic along with artists Danh Vo, Carol Bove and Tino Sehgal, organized a visionary Felix Gonzalez-Torres exhibition across three institutions: WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel; and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt.
With the profound visual and conceptual potential of Gonzalez-Torres’ work in mind, Filipovic devised an exhibition structure that entailed two autonomous-yet-adjacent exhibitions of his work at each of the three venues: one iteration by her, and one by Vo, Bove and Sehgal respectively. This volume follows the show’s structure. Each venue has a dedicated section which includes a preface by Filipovic, photographic documentation of each exhibition and a contribution by Vo, Bove and Sehgal reflecting upon their positions as curators of Gonzalez-Torres’ work.
Danh Vo includes photographs of diagrammatic brass wall plaques as presented within his installation at WIELS; Carol Bove offers an essay describing her personal experiences with the work of Gonzalez-Torres and the curatorial scope of her installation; and Tino Sehgal recorded a conversation with Andrea Rosen—Gonzalez-Torres’ lifelong art dealer—which captures part of their rich dialogue around the artist’s work.
A comparative illustrated checklist documents each of the 85 works by Gonzalez-Torres featured in all their iterations. This invaluable resource showcases the radical and expansive nature of Gonzalez-Torres’ work as envisioned through the remarkable and unique voices of this important generation of artists, alongside the curatorial insight of Elena Filipovic.
Elena Filipovic is director and chief curator of Kunsthalle Basel in Basel, Switzerland.
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.
Published by Guggenheim Museum Publications. By Nancy Spector.
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 Publications. 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.