Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

Felix Gonzalez-Torres 费利克斯·冈萨雷斯-托雷斯

30 September 2016 – 25 December 2016
2016年 9月 30日 – 2016年 12月 25日

The Rockbund Art Museum is honored to present the first solo exhibition of the influential international artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) in Greater China. From September 30th to December 25th, 2016, RAM will host a exciting exhibition of work by the American artist, who is renowned for his unconventional methodology and poignant sensitivity. The unique nature of his work takes this exhibition beyond a retrospective; it constitutes a genuine renewal of his art.

Selected from 30 institutions and collections across the world, the exhibition includes over 40 pieces, spanning from 1987 to 1995, allows audiences to contemplate a broad and meaningful selection of the artist’s works. The tension between the public and private, the shared and the personal, comprises a recurrent theme for Gonzalez-Torres. Many of the artist’s works consist of everyday objects, such as strings of lightbulbs, mirrors, wall clocks or printed sheets of paper. Other works are comprised of spills of candy and jigsaw puzzles. His artwork itself is like a puzzle, but lacking a univocal order. Its demure minimal aesthetic solicits the audience to put the pieces together for themselves, inviting a plurality of pictures to emerge.

There is a vibrancy to his work. One of the more unusual senses to be engaged is that of taste. In the corner of the exhibition space on the 2nd floor, the viewer will find one of the most recognizable works of Gonzalez-Torres’, “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), which is an extremely sensitive and delicate way of portraying someone through an intimate gesture of connecting one’s body to another.

Other works tend toward the more visually arresting. For instance, “Untitled” (Go-Go Dancing Platform) consists of a simple blue platform lined with light bulbs. Once a day, for only a few minutes, a Go-Go dancer in silver shorts dances on the platform to the music that is audible only to himself. Another work “Untitled” (Arena) consists of a string of lights hung from the ceiling. Headphones are set nearby allowing the viewers to waltz in the sparkling festive enclosure. Other works, suggest a more muted tone, such as the piece “Untitled” (Loverboy), which consists of sheer blue curtains hanging over the museum’s second floor windows, transforming the space into a romantic and personal atmosphere..

It is well known that Gonzalez-Torres produced his work in the 80's and 90's in an American society and art community profoundly affected by the AIDS epidemic. However, it would be a mistake to engage with his work as simply dealing with homosexual issues or the AIDS crisis. These issues represent that circumstances under which the works were made, and can be understood as platforms for exploring human values, relationships and aspirations at large, both in the artist and in the viewer. In fact, one of the most intriguing aspects of this exhibition is the dramatic shift in the historical and cultural context of the artworks as they are exhibited in Shanghai. Much of Gonzalez-Torres’ work allows the environment to shape its aesthetic. By staging the exhibition in contemporary China, it will open up the artist’s work to a new context, as a 21st century Chinese public confronts its message for the first time. Audiences in China may readily recognize a postmodern diagnostic in the artworks on show. It is certainly a presentation relevant to an age of information, where social media and the internet tend to fragment personal identities and abrogate local bonds.

20 years since his passing, RAM is able to present the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres afresh, moving beyond the labels that once constrained its definition. Its uniquely interactive nature entails that meaning is not only discovered, but also contributed by its audience. This reciprocity is what makes Gonzalez-Torres both an artist of the polity, and in the end altogether intimate. Quirky and opaque, sharp and humorous: the pieces presented in this forthcoming exhibition will incite introspection just as they draw its audiences together.

Rockbund Art Museum would like to thank the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation and the many institutions that graciously loaned their pieces, both for their generous help and their assistance in bringing this exhibition into realization.




冈萨雷斯-托雷斯活跃于1980年代至1990年代的纽约艺术圈,当时的美国社会和艺术家群体都深受艾滋病蔓延的重创。这一特殊的创作背景对艺术家的个人生活以及创作都造成了深远的影响。然而,如果我们局限于这一视角来解读他的作品,则会陷入过于狭隘的程式化解读。艺术作品的生命力在于其和不同时代以及社会对话并产生关联的能力。21世纪的中国对于一位美国艺术家创作于30年前的作品而言,无疑是一个具有挑战性的全新语境,而冈萨雷斯-托雷斯作品中因地制宜的特质,使得它们能随着展出地点的不同在形式上做出相应的调整,当下中国的观众们也能从艺术家细腻微妙的作品中,感受到突破地域或时间限制的情感和审美体验。《“无题”(北)》贯穿于美术馆二楼到五楼的楼梯井中,用点点灯光照亮了每一步阶梯;摇曳于二楼窗边的淡蓝色纱帘为美术馆的空间蒙上了一层浪漫温柔的滤镜;观众也可以在《 “无题”(舞场)》恍惚的光影中与自己的同伴一起戴上耳机,随着音乐跳一支华尔兹。