Félix González-Torres

I'd like to take up the opportunity to point out a rather reticent and at first sight maybe little spectacular exhibition which is poetic and unreserved, though, in a non-sentimental manner. This summer the Kunsthistorische Museum shows Félix González-Torres work „Untitled (Lovers – Paris)“ at Theseustempel.

On entering I overheard a tourist say to his companion, „It´s nothing, only those lights.“ Well, he undoubtedly hit the matter´s core. Of course, it´s only „those lights“. But can light be overrated at all? And yes, it´s just chains of lights one finds at every hardware store. But it is, too, exactly their easy banality that makes up much of the work´s charme. Last but not least what matters is the intention behind those chains of light which is pointed out by the title: It is about two lovers bringing warmth and light into each others lives, but also about human infirmities, fugacity and regeneration, as symbolized by the future burning through and replacement of single light bulbs.

Parallel to „Untitled (Lovers – Paris)“ at Theseustempel the Kunsthistorische Museum itself shows a somehow matching piece by Félix González-Torres in their „Shape of Time“-exhibition. „Untitled (Perfect Lovers)“ consists of wo identical clocks, set at exactly the same time and provided with the same type of new batteries, which nevertheless don´t share the same second, and which nevertheless probably won´t come to a standstill at the same time.


Julia Maurer



1010 Wien




Header, 1, 2, 3: Ausstellungsansicht, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, „Untitled“ (Lovers - Paris)

4: Ausstellungsansicht Lombardo / Gonzalez-Torres, links: Tullio Lombardo,

Junges Paar, um 1505/10, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer © KHM-Museumsverband; rechts: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, „Untitled“ (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hertford, CT © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation

Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York