FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES (1957-1996)

Photo by John Sare“Untitled (Fortune Cookie Corner), 1990, at Hudson Hall.

HUDSON – From June 27 through July 5, Hudson Hall is one of several hundred places around the world featuring a live, global installation of “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) by the famed artist Félix González-Torres (1957-1996). The work has been lent by an anonymous private collector and coincides with Hudson Hall’s reopening to the public with artist Rodney Alan Greenblat’s exhibition, Something to Look Forward to and Earth People, an exhibit of paintings by artists with disabilities in partnership with Community Access to the Arts (CATA) and COARC. All works can be viewed by making a reservation to Something to Look Forward to at hudsonhall.org.

Exhibition curator Andrea Rosen, the New York gallerist, invited 1,000 people from around the world to manifest the Gonzalez-Torres work in a place of their choosing as part of one total site. Lawyer and part-time Germantown resident John Sare, one of the individuals selected, chose Hudson Hall for the installation. Created in 1990 and the first of the artist’s now-famous “Candy” series, the work is described as “Fortune cookies, endless supply,” with the dimensions of each installation dependent on each site. The core tenets of the work include the principle that individuals must be permitted to choose to take fortune cookies from the work. Although the original supply of approximately 800 fortune cookies at Hudson Hall will not be replenished, the work will remain in place through July 5 even if the supply of fortune cookies is exhausted.

Félix González-Torres was born in Guáimaro, Cuba on November 26, 1957. He referred to himself as American. He lived and worked in New York City between 1979 and 1995. Gonzalez-Torres died in Miami on January 6, 1996 from AIDS-related causes.

From 1987 to 1991, González-Torres was a part of the artist collective Group Material, whose collaborative, politically-informed practice focused on community engagement and activist interventions. In 1988, he had his first one-man exhibitions, at the Rastovski Gallery, New York, INTAR Gallery, New York, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. His earliest billboard work,

As noted on the Andrea Rosen Gallery website, “González-Torres was interested in his work providing an opportunity for questioning,” and some of the questions posed on the website include:

Says Sare: “These questions were posed before the nation and the world were drawn into the story of the death of George Floyd and the protests that have followed. The COVID epidemic had already provoked intense reflection about our sense of connection, our experience of disconnectedness, and the transformation of our towns, cities, museums, parks, historic sites, sports arenas, stores, restaurants, and places of worship as millions of people effectively disappeared from public life and interaction. The events since George Floyd’s death have moved that conversation from the realm of health and wellness into the realm of civil society and civil rights. In both cases, we have been talking and thinking, literally, about life and death. We see expressions every day of empathy and its opposite, connection and its opposite, of life and the loss of life. In the installation in Hudson, I hope that the experience of approaching the work, addressing the work, and walking away from the work will provide all who visit a moment to reflect on our times, on our future, and on the multiple meanings of the word ‘fortune.’”

Additional information on the global exhibition is available at www.andrearosengallery.com/press-release, and images of installations all over the world are available at -fgt🥠exhibition

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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