With his pared-down, melancholy works, Felix Gonzalez-Torres found an evocative language for dealing with loss during the ’80s and ’90s amid the AIDS crisis. In sculptures, installations, photographs, and more, Gonzalez-Torres mined the look of Minimalism to explore how meaning is made and what it means for a person to truly disappear.
With a survey of his work currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona in Spain, below is a look at some of the most famous works by the artist, who died in 1996 of AIDS-related causes. Included are examples of his interactive pieces, including his candy sculptures, as well as what may be his most famous work, “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers), from 1987–90. Some of these works have existed in many forms, and their current presentation in Barcelona is but one.
A survey of notable works by one of the 20th century’s most influential artists follows below.