The Kunsthistorisches Museum will present a single, major work by the Cuban-American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) within the Theseus Temple during the spring and summer of 2018.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in Cuba in 1957; in 1979, he moved to New York to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. His first solo exhibition, held at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York in 1990, was followed by some notable early successes outside the United States. He is best known for installations comprising everyday objects like sweets, light bulbs, or clocks, some of which invite visitors to interact with them. His often Minimalist compositions focus on subjects such as love, loss and sexuality, and are informed by his experience of HIV/AIDS, from which he died in 1996.
Contemporary Art at the Theseus Temple
Beginning in 2012, the museum began a new series of exhibitions within the Temple, a neo-classical structure built by court architect Peter von Nobile in 1823 to be the home for a single work of then-contemporary art: Antonio Canova's white marble masterpiece Theseus Slaying the Centaur. For almost seventy years, this artwork stood alone inside the building, until in 1891 it was moved to the newly completed Kunsthistorisches Museum where it still stands today. More than a century later, these exhibitions have returned the Temple to its original purpose: to house remarkable artworks by contemporary artists, one at a time.
Artists who have previously exhibited at the Theseus Temple include Ugo Rondinone (2012), Kris Martin (2012), Richard Wright (2013), Edmund de Waal (2014), Susan Philipsz (2015), Ron Mueck (2016) and Kathleen Ryan (2017). Another work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres will be on display at the same time in the main building of the Kunsthistorisches Museum as part of the exhibition The Shape of Time.