SEOUL. - PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art presents a solo exhibition of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, entitled Double. This exhibition examines the broad spectrum of Gonzalez-Torres’s oeuvre with particular emphasis on the malleable nature of his works, demonstrating how their meaning, as much as the form, can shift as the architectural, social, and curatorial landscapes change. As suggested in the title, Double proposes a dual presentation at both PLATEAU and our sister museum Leeum, as well as multiple locations throughout the city of Seoul, involving various ways of repetition and reconfiguration of the artist’s works. Utilizing editions and simultaneous manifestations of identical pieces, the presentation hopes to reflect the continuing vitality of his art, which continues to inspire countless artists in contemporary art today.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who died at the early age of 38 in 1996, is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation whose legacy still remains strongly present in the current art historical discourse. Born in 1957 in Cuba and immigrated to New York City in 1979, the artist did not allow his racial and sexual minority status to marginalize his position in the art world, instead developing his own unique body of work by appropriating the existing visual language of minimalism. At the same time, he actively engaged the viewer in his works, subverting conventional art practices through its endless transformation and destruction of form. Using everyday objects such as mirrors, clocks, puzzles, candies and paper stacks, Gonzalez-Torres’s oeuvre more profoundly examined the “public” function of art, while presenting strictly private contemplations on love and the fragility of life. From the socially critical works of the 1980s to the more contemplative and poetic works of the 1990s, his oeuvre achieved its distinct perspective through the juxtaposition of the private and public, as well as the poetic and political.
Challenging tradition, monumentality and even his own authority as artist, Gonzalez-Torres emphasized the mutability of meaning and form in order to keep his work alive and connected with the viewers across cultures and generations. His works will also have a powerful resonance with Korean viewers today who have undergone dramatic political, economic and cultural changes over the recent decades. As the first comprehensive exhibition of Gonzalez-Torres’s work in Asia, this exhibition will provide a significant opportunity to introduce the remarkable achievements of his short but prolific career to the Korean and international audiences in the region.