Felix Gonzalez-Torres - Carte Blanche New York Monday, November 8, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Brussels, Galerie Xavier Hufkens, Felix Gonzalez-Torres/ Michael Jenkins, March 20 – April 20, 1991; Glens Falls, New York, The Hyde Collection, Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?, September 7 – November 17, 1991; Spiral, Tokyo, Wacoal Art Center, Three or More: A Multiple Exhibition, October 1 – 24, 1992; Tramway, Glasgow, Read My Lips: New York AIDS Polemics, October 20 – December 1, 1992
    New York, Fischbach Gallery, Absence, Activism & the Body Politic, June 2 – 25, 1994
    Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, June 16 – September 11, 1994
    New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Felix Gonzalez- Torres, February 17 – March 7, 1995, pp. 182 – 83 (illustrated) Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Girlfriend in a Coma), April 11 – June 16, 1996

  • Literature

    N. Spector, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres und Roni Horn: Anatomien des Raums,” in Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Roni Horn, exhibition catalogue, Sammlung Goetz, Munich 1995, p. 12; C. Chapman, “Personal Effects: On Aspects of Work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres,” in BROADsheet, Spring 1996, p. 16; N. Spector, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Quelle heure est-il au paradis?,” in Propositions, exhibition catalogue, Musée Départemental de Rochecouart 1996, p. 10; D. Elger, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Catalogue Raisonné, Ostfildern- Ruit 1997, p. 69, no. 118 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Two incandescent bulbs dangle from entwined cords. Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ work is both ephemerally beautiful and deeply profound. Untitled (March 5th) #2 is his first light piece and perhaps his most personal. It is a stunning memorial to his late lover, Ross Laycock, titled for the day he died in 1991. As with his other work, this piece speaks not only to the powerful nature of love and human connection but also to the impermanence of life. The raw, industrial beauty of the light bulb series coupled with their almost ethereal quality make this series among his most stunning, both aesthetically and emotionally.
    There are few artists who are able to convey such intense poignancy through such simplicity. Felix’s art does not force itself upon the viewer but instead invites a quiet emotional contemplation. His art is not only about his creative process but about the role his audience is both encouraged and expected to play in defining it. To Felix, this is exactly what art should be. It is at the viewer’s discretion how the strands of bulbs should be arranged — cascading down a wall or in a glowing pile  on the floor. They are also given the liberty to take his art with them, combing a sheet off of one of his famous stacks of paper or plucking a piece of candy from a pile on the floor. In the same way that these piles slowly dwindle and disappear, the bulbs eventually extinguish, subtly alluding to the transient and fleeting nature of life. Each of these delicate elements can be endlessly replaced, creating a cycle that is both indestructible and impermanent at the same time.
    Untitled (March 5th) #2 is one of Felix’s most intense works and is imbued with a beautiful melancholy. The pair of hanging lights are as naked and raw as Felix will get. The two solitary light bulbs burn bright but over the course of time will slowly begin to fade, inevitably one before the other, until they both burn out. This work echoes the same vulnerability as Felix’s Untitled (Perfect Lovers) in which two clocks hang side by side, ticking in perfect unison, until one is destined to stop working before the other. These works are unquestionable symbols of his relationship with Ross and heady metaphors for the joy of love coupled with the fear of loss. Felix’s art embraces contradictions and evokes an incredible appreciation for life, two tenets that are eloquently captured in this striking piece.


Untitled (March 5th)

Executed in 1991
40-watt light bulbs, porcelain light sockets, extension cords in two parts.
Dimensions vary with installation, 2 parts: approximately 113 in. (287 cm) high.
This work is from an edition of 20 plus 2 APs and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity established by the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $506,500

Carte Blanche

8 November 2010  6pm
New York