The Fondation Beyeler hosts part of a major traveling retrospective of Felix Gonzalez-Torres (American, b. Cuba, 1957-1996), one of the most influential artists of his generation. Including some rarely seen but also more known paintings, sculptures, photographic works, and public projects, it includes pieces from throughout Gonzalez-Torres’ short but prolific career. Drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes an experimental form that is indebted to the artist’s own radical conception of the artwork.
Defying the idea of the exhibition as fixed and the retrospective as totalizing, the exhibition Felix Gonzalez-Torres. "Specific Objects without Specific Form" offers instead several exhibition versions, and none the authoritative one, all the better to present the oeuvre of an artist who put fragility, the passage of time, and the questioning of authority at the center of his artwork. At each venue in which the show will be hosted, the exhibition will open to the public and then halfway through its duration, it will be re-installed by a different invited artist whose practice has been informed by Gonzalez-Torres’ work. At the Fondation Beyeler, the artist Carol Bove will undo the show and re-install it from late-July onward — adding and removing artworks, changing such things as lighting, labels, and the order of presentation, in other words — effectively making an entirely new version of the exhibition.
The retrospective is curated by Elena Filipovic. It premiered at Wiels (January 16 – May 2, 2010) including a curated version by Danh Vo and travels to the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (May 22 - August 29, 2010), including a curated version by Carol Bove; and the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (January 28 – April 25, 2011), including a curated version by Tino Sehgal.
The tour of the exhibition will be followed by a fully illustrated catalogue documenting each version of the exhibition and including essays by Elena Filipovic, Danh Vo, Carol Bove, and Tino Sehgal as well as interviews with artists of various generations. Essentially a publication determined by the voice of artists, Felix Gonzalez-Torres. "Specific Objects without Specific Form" will underscore the decisive impact and importance of Gonzalez-Torres’ work on art practices today.