ABOUT THE BOOK
In celebration of its 15th anniversary in 2010, Artpace (San Antonio, Texas), mounted an ambitious state-wide exhibition of 336 seminal billboards created by Cuban-born artist Félix González-Torres (1957-1996). Developed with special permission from the artist’s estate, this presentation was the first-ever comprehensive survey of González-Torres’ billboard works in the US. Situated deliberately in the public’s path in four cities (Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio), these artworks gracefully interrupted daily routines with poignant reflections on life, love and humanity. The transcendent quality of González-Torres’ work was magnified in the Texas landscape, and the project garnered international attention for its unprecedented commemoration of this remarkable body of work. This book covers all the billboard pieces and serves as a mini-retrospective of this critical part of González-Torres’ career.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Félix González-Torres was born in Cuba, and grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to New York City. He died of AIDS in 1996, just one year after his residency at Artpace. His works complicate the questions of public and private space, authorship, originality, and the role of institutionalized meaning. He used everyday materials-electric light fixtures, paired wall clocks, and beaded curtains to express themes of love, mortality, loss, and absence. Moving beyond the walls of the institution with the publicly sited Billboards exhibition, Artpace aimed to both capture the attention of cultural travelers and provide an enriching source of inspiration for the communities in which the works are installed.