This winter, seminal work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres is filling all three of the MAC's galleries whilst also spilling out beyond the building into the city, becoming entwined with the urban landscape of Belfast.
Curated by Eoin Dara, Felix Gonzalez-Torres: This Place is the largest presentation of the artist's work in Ireland to date. The exhibition, which includes a nuanced selection of works made between 1987 and 1993, seeks to explore the rich contextual pluralities inherent in Gonzalez-Torres's work in relation to contemporary culture in Northern Ireland, considering dichotomies between solidity and fluidity, proximity and distance, unity and disarray, harmony and discord.
Born in 1957 in Guáimaro, Cuba, but living most of his adult life in New York, Gonzalez-Torres was acutely aware of occupying spaces and places in this world both as an artist and an individual in society. Throughout his career he sought to respond to, subvert, and potentially challenge dominant political ideologies and beliefs, often using his artworks to poetically or playfully engage in dialogue about agency and ownership within public and private spaces. Within so much of his work is an invitation, or some might say provocation, to consider the role of art in questioning accepted societal truths, which remains as open and vital today as it did when it was first extended to the public over 25 years ago.
The exhibition brings to Belfast audiences for the first time iconic works from the artist's candy spill series, endlessly reproducible paper stack sculptures, a major public billboard work, subtly beautiful light string and curtain installations, as well as more intimate jigsaw puzzle works and paintings from significant lenders across the world such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, the de la Cruz Contemporary Art Space in Miami, and the Hoffmann Collection in Berlin.
"Felix Gonzalez-Torres was undoubtedly one of the most influential artists of the latter half of the twentieth century, and his work continues to inspire new generations of artists, curators and audiences today. We're hugely excited to be able to bring this beautiful work to the MAC, and hope this project will demonstrate the malleable brilliance of Gonzalez-Torres, as a Cuban-born American artist working in the US in the late 80s and early 90s whose chameleonic work can seamlessly fit into a never before explored setting in Northern Ireland."
Eoin Dara (Curator)