b. 1957 - d. 1996
In his art, Felix Gonzalez-Torres appropriated objects from everyday life, but imbued them with personal, art historical, social and political dimensions. The works, which often take a minimalistic visual form, consist of materials like candy or posters that the audience is invited to take away with them.
In this way, Gonzales-Torres’ works can be seen as an extension of Conceptual art’s denial of the artwork as a permanent object. The interaction with the audience was essential to Gonzales-Torres and his works can be said to become activated in their encounter with the audience. Through turning the observer into a participant, Gonzales-Torres challenged the expectations of both the audience and the institution, as well as concepts of the status and value of the artwork. The works often also have references to the artists own life and experiences as a Latin-American gay man in America during the AIDS epidemic decade. Gonzales-Torres used his career as an artist to address political and social acts and the duality between his private experiences and his public engagement greatly affected his oeuvre.
Go to the Astrup Fearnley Collection page to read more about FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES.