Edited by Julie Ault. Texts by Amanda Cruz, Lewis Baltz, Roland Barthes, Carlos Basualdo, Bertolt Brecht, David Deitcher, Marguerite Duras, Russell Ferguson, Rainer Fuchs, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, bell hooks, Miwon Kwon, Charles Merewether, Gerardo Mosquera, Bob Nickas, Virgilio Piñera, Rainer Maria Rilke, Tim Rollins, Susan Sontag, Nancy Spector, Wallace Stevens, Robert Storr, Susan Tallman, Anne Umland, and Simon Watney. Chronology by Julie Ault
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, one of the most influential artists of his generation, lived and worked resolutely according to his own democratic ideology, determined to “make this a better place for everyone.” Combining principles of conceptual art, minimalism, political activism, and poetic beauty, Gonzalez-Torres’s ever-changing arsenal included public billboards, give-away piles of candy or posters, and ordinary objects (clocks, mirrors, light fixtures) often used to startling effect. His work challenged the notions of public and private space, originality, authorship, and—most significantly—the authoritative structure in which he functioned.
Now in its second edition, Gonzalez-Torres’s editor Julie Ault has amassed a comprehensive monograph of this important artist. In the spirit of the artist’s method, Ault rethinks the very idea of what a monograph should be. The book, which places strong emphasis on the written word, contains texts by Robert Storr and Miwon Kwon among other notables, as well as significant critical essays, exhibition statements, transcripts from lectures, personal correspondence, and writings that influenced Gonzalez-Torres and his work. Ample visual documentation adds another decisive layer of content. We see works not just in their finality, but often witness their transformation over a lifespan. This collection is a critical reference for the history of contemporary art.