Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) is one of the most influential artists of his generation. This catalogue includes both rarely seen and more known paintings, sculptures, photographic works, and public projects, reflecting the full scope of the artist’s short yet prolific career.
Specific Objects without Specific Form offered several exhibition versions (and none the authoritative one), all the better to present the oeuvre of an artist who put fragility, the passage of time, and the questioning of authority at the centre of his artwork.
At each venue in which the show was hosted, the exhibition was co-curated with, and re-installed/re-imagined by a different invited artist whose practice has been informed by Gonzalez-Torres’ work. Those artists are Danh Vo, Carol Bove, and Tino Sehgal.
Specific Objects without Specific Form acknowledges that the way an exhibition begins and ends its ‘story’, the emphasis it places on one aspect more than another, the way it presents individual artworks, the juxtapositions it constructs, the mood it creates, in addition to the way an exhibition is discursively presented — all of these potentially shift the way that a body of work might be understood by its public. And all of these participate in the construction of the meaning and reception of an oeuvre, which is to say, nothing less than the construction of history.
Published retrospectively after the exhibition at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (January – April 2010); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (May – August 2010); and MMK, Frankfurt am Main (January – April 2011).
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Franz Erhard Walther
The Body Decides
A pop-up book for adults, this catalogue on the work of Franz Erhard Walther sought its inspiration in the artist’s work in order to determine the publication-form that might most appropriately convey the centrality of action to the artist’s oeuvre. The performativity at the heart of Walther’s more than a half century long practice is underscored through the appearance of six brightly coloured elementary pop up forms spread throughout the book.
Franz Erhard Walther is an influential German artist whose pioneering work straddles minimalist sculpture, conceptual art, abstract painting, and performance all while positing fundamental questions about the conventional idea of the artwork as an immutable, obdurate pedestalor wall-bound thing. Bringing together pivotal works made between the 1950s and the present, this exhibition that brought together this catalogue publication focused on Walther’s ability to transform notions of objecthood and perception through drawings, paintings, fabric sculptures, participatory forms, language-based works, photographic documentation and archival material, much of which is documented within the pages of this book.
Having participated in Harald Szeemann’s legendary When Attitudes Become Form (1969) and dOCUMENTA V (1972) as well as the Museum of Modern Art’s landmark Spaces (1970), Walther’s remarkable coupling of elementary forms with conceptual ideas and a radical rethinking of the relationship between sculpture and action, so influential to the contemporary practices of young artists today, deserves renewed attention. With his novel use of fabric forms, which he developed while in art school in the early 1960s, the artist’s aesthetics of action incites visitors to engage with both sculpture and the institution in challenging ways.
Texts by Elena Filipovic
Interview by Eric Verhagen and Franz Erhard Walther.
This publication was published by WIELS, CAPC and Walther Koenig.
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