Specific Objects without Specific Form. A major traveling retrospective of Gonzalez-Torres' oeuvre, including both rarely seen and more known artworks, while proposing an experimental form for the exhibition that is indebted to the artist's own radical conception of the artwork. Artist's work can be seen in critical relationship to Conceptual art and Minimalism, mixing political activism, emotional affect, and deep formal concerns in a wide range of media, including drawings, sculpture, and public billboards, often using ordinary objects as a starting point-clocks, mirrors, light fixtures.
Curated by WIELS associate curator Elena Filipovic (with Danh Vo, Carol Bove, and Tino Sehgal)
WIELS premieres a major traveling retrospective of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ oeuvre, including both rarely seen and more known artworks, while proposing an experimental form for the exhibition that is indebted to the artist’s own radical conception of the artwork.
Gonzalez-Torres (American, b. Cuba 1957-1996), one of the most influential artists of his generation, settled in New York in the early 1980s, where he studied art and began his practice as an artist before his untimely death of AIDS related complications. His work can be seen in critical relationship to Conceptual art and Minimalism, mixing political activism, emotional affect, and deep formal concerns in a wide range of media, including drawings, sculpture, and public billboards, often using ordinary objects as a starting point—clocks, mirrors, light fixtures. Amongst his most famous artworks are his piles of candy and paper stacks from which viewers are allowed to take away a piece. They are premised, like so much of what he did, on instability and potential for change: artworks without an already preset or specific form. The result is a profoundly human body of work, intimate and vulnerable even as it destabilizes so many seemingly unshakable certainties (the artwork as fixed, the exhibition as a place to look but not touch, the author as the ultimate form-giver).
To present the oeuvre of an artist who put fragility, the passage of time, and the questioning of authority at the center of his artworks, the exhibition will be entirely re-installed at each of its venues halfway through its duration by a different invited artist whose practice has been informed by Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ work. A first version of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Specific Objects without Specific Form by curator Elena Filipovic will open to the public and on March 5, 2010, the artist Danh Vo will re-install the exhibition, effectively making an entirely new show.
Organized by WIELS in collaboration with the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, New York, the exhibition will travel to the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (with the collaboration of artist Carol Bove) and the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (with the collaboration of artist Tino Sehgal).
Image: Untitled (Golden), 1995. Strands of beads and hanging device. Dimensions vary with installation. Installation view of "Felix Gonzalez-Torres: 2 Installationen" at Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, 1996. Photo: Thorsten Monschein ©The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
Project supported by: JCDecaux, Danish Arts Council, Kliemo Printing
20.01 7pm Film : Sayat Nova
Wiels presents Sayat Nova (1969) by Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, a film selected by the artist Andro Wekua, who recently exhibited at Wiels and who will be present at the screening.
29.01 5-9pm Johanna Billings I'm Lost without Your Rythm LP Launch
A glimpse into Johanna Billings' video work as well as a display of her earlier soundtracks, combined with a presentation of the Munich-based label Apparent Extent's back catalogue and other AE printed matter.
03.02 7pm Look Who's Talking : Elena Filipovic
Guided visit (EN & FR) of the exhibition Felix Gonzalez Torres: Specific Objects without Specific Form by the curator of the retrospective, Elena Filipovic.
Press: Angie Vandycke email@example.com +32 (0)2 340 00 51
Public opening Friday 15.01 6-9pm with Dj Ramon & Platonic Solids aka The Jazz Professor
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