Félix González-Torres

Félix González-Torres (November 26, 1957 – January 9, 1996) was a Cuban-born American visual artist. González-Torres was known for his minimal installations and sculptures in which he used materials such as strings of lightbulbs, clocks, stacks of paper, or packaged hard candies. In 1987, he joined Group Material, a New York-based group of artists whose intention was to work collaboratively, adhering to principles of cultural activism and community education.

Gonzalez-Torres received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989 and 1993. He participated in hundreds of group shows during his lifetime, including early presentations at Artists Space and White Columns in New York (1987 and 1988, respectively), the Whitney Biennial (1991), the Venice Biennale (1993), SITE Santa Fe (1995), and the Sydney Biennial (1996). Comprehensive retrospective exhibitions of his work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (1994); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1995); Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (1997); and Biblioteca Luis-Angel Arango, Bogotá (2000). Other exhibitions have been held at the Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2006–07); PLATEAU, Seoul (2012); and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2012). A survey of his work, Specific Objects without Specific Form, was organized by WIELS, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels (2010), and then traveled to the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2010), and the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2011). In 2007, Gonzalez-Torres was selected to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in the exhibition Felix Gonzalez-Torres: America. He died in Miami on January 9, 1996.