About This Artwork

Felix Gonzalez-Torres
American, born Cuba, 1957–1996

"Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991

Multicolored candies, individually wrapped in cellophane
Ideal weight 175 lb.; installed dimensions variable, approximately 92 x 92 x 92 cm (36 x 36 x 36 in.)

Promised gift of Donna and Howard Stone, 1.1999

© The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres produced work of uncompromising beauty and simplicity, transforming the everyday into profound meditations on love and loss. “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is an allegorical representation of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The installation is comprised of 175 pounds of candy, corresponding to Ross’s ideal body weight. Viewers are encouraged to take a piece of candy, and the diminishing amount parallels Ross’s weight loss and suffering prior to his death. Gonzalez-Torres stipulated that the pile should be continuously replenished, thus metaphorically granting perpetual life.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Los Angeles, Luhring Augustine Hetzler Gallery, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres,” October 19–November 16, 1991.

Pully, Switzerland, Musee D’Art Contemporain, “Post Human,” June 14–September 13, 1992; traveled to Rivoli, Italy, Castello di Rivoli, June 14–September 13, 1992, Athens, Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, December 3–February 14, 1993, Hamburg, Deichtorhallen, March 12–May 9, 1993, and Jerusalem, Israel Museum, June 21–October 10, 1993 (cat. not yet found).

Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, “Works on loan from the Collection of Vivian and David Campbell,” January 21–August 6, 1993.

Hovikodden, Norway, Sonja Henie-Niels Onstad Art Center, “Thema Aids,” May 8–July 8, 1993; traveled to Bergen, Norway Museum, July–November, Hagen, Germany Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum, November 30, 1993–January 9, 1994 (cat. not yet found).

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, “Present Tense: Nine Artists in the Nineties,” September 13, 1997–January 13, 1998, cat. 9 (color ill.).

Barcelona, Museu d’Art Contemporani, “Artificial. Contemporary Figures,” January 20–March 15, 1998, p. 49 (ill.).

Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal, “Culbutes Oevre d’impertienence” (“Head over Heels into the Millennium”), November 18–April 23, 2000, p. 36–37 (ill.).

New York, Luhring Augustine Gallery, “Untitled (Sculpture),” January 8–February 12, 2000.

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, “The American Century: Art and Culture 1900–2000,” September 26, 1999–February 13, 2000, p. 355 (ill.).

Philadelphia, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, "s(how)," May 3–July 27, 2003.

Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, "Universal Experience: Art, Life and the Tourist’s Eye," February 12–June 5, 2005; traveled to London, Hayward Gallery, October 6–December 11, 2005 and Italy, Museo de Arte Moderna e Conteporanea de Trento e Rovereto (MART), February 10–May 14, 2006, p. 189 (color ill.).

Bern, Switzerland, Kunstmuseum Bern, "Six Feet Under: Autopsy of Our Relation to the Dead," November 2, 2006–January 21, 2007, pp. 188, 194 (color ill.), 212, 216 as Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.); traveled to Deutsche Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, 22 September 2007–3 March 2008.

New York, Apexart, "Let Everything be Temporary, or When is the Exhibition?" January 10–February 17, 2007, n.pag. (color ill).



Brussels, Belgium, WIELS Centre d’Art Contemporain, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Specific Objects without Specific Form,” 16 January–25 April 2010; traveled to Basel, Foundation Beyeler, 1 May–1 September 2010 and Frankfurt, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, 15 September–1 December 2010.

Aarhus, Denmark, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, “This is Love?” 27 March–12 September 2010.

Washington, D.C., National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” 22 October 2010–6 February 2011; traveled to Brooklyn Museum of Art, 18 November 2011–18 February 2012, and Tacoma Art Museum, 17 March–10 June 2012.

Chicago, Smart Museum of Art, “FEAST: Radical Hospitality and Contemporary Art,” 16 February–10 June 2012.

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” 18 September–31 December 2012; traveled to Pittsburgh, 2 February–28 April 2013.

Chicago, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, “Artistic Interventions: Felix Gonzalez-Torres,” 6 September–9 December 2012.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Ackland Art Museum, “More Love: Art, Politics, and Sharing since the 1990s,” 1 February–31 March 2013.

Publication History

David Pagel, “World of Gonzalez-Torres. Testers on Joy and Despair,” Los Angeles Times (Nov. 7, 1991), section F, p. 6 (ill.).

R. J. Merrill, “Rituals and Allegories. Felix Gonzalez-Torres at Luhring Augustine Hetzler,” Artweek (Nov. 14, 1991), p. 14 (ill.).

Nicola White, Simon Watney and Vito Russo, Read My Lips: New York AIDS Polemics, exh. cat. (Glasgow: Tramway, 1992): 49 (ill.).

Nancy Spector, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres,” in Felix Gonzalez-Torres, exh. cat. (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1995), pp. 150–51, 222–23 (ill.).

“Felix Gonzalez-Torres (Album),” in Blocnotes, Sept./Oct. 1996, p. 87 (ill.).

Gerhard Mack, “Am Fusse des Kulturpalastes," in St. Galler Tagblatt (October 30, 1996), n.pag. (ill.).

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Catalogue Raisonné, exh. cat. by Dietmar Elger (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 1997), cat. 168 (color ill.).

Lisa Stein, “What a concept: Museums try to preserve art when it goes beyond objects,” Chicago Tribune (October 22, 2000), section 7, p. 14 (ill.).

Elena Carotti, Terry Piazzoli, and Joy Ledgister-Holness, eds., Il Dono: The Gift (Milan: Edizioni Charta, 2001), p. 195 (ill.).

Nancy Spector, Cream 3: 10 Curators, 100 Contemporary Artists, 10 Source Artists, (London: Phaidon, 2003), p. 426 (ill.).

Jean Sousa, A Guide to Looking at Art: Faces, Places and Inner Spaces, (New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006), pp. 32, 46 (ill.).

“Gallery One: Felix Gonzales-Torres,” Queer Cultural Center On-Line Programs,
http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/Pages/FelixGT/FelixGallery.html.


General Reference:

Suzanne Perling Hudson, “Beauty and the Status of Contemporary Criticism,” October 104 (Spring 2003), pp. 124–26.

Ownership History

Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Luhring Augustine Hetzler, Los Angeles. Collection Vivian and David Campbell, Warren, VT. Luhring Augustine, New York. Howard and Donna Stone Collection, Chicago, by 1997.




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