Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Last Light), 1993
At Phillips evening sale May 10th:
Untitled (Last Light), 1993, goes beyond the precedence of Minimalist sculpture in its humanization of the object and its poetic intimacy. The warmth of the lights, as well as their all-too evident fragility, particularly in this work which is installed at the owner’s will, attributes to an eloquent metaphor for the vulnerability of the human body. Gonzalez-Torres began the light stings in the early 1990s, as a memorial to his late partner, Ross Laycock, who died in 1991. The inaugural work, Untitled (March 5th), is comprised of two incandescent bulbs dangling from entwined cords. As with the present work, this earlier piece speaks not only to the powerful nature of love and human connection, but also to the impermanence of life. The raw, industrial beauty of the light bulb series coupled with their almost ethereal quality makes this series among his most stunning, both aesthetically and emotionally. Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ work is both epemerally beautiful and deeply profound. Untitled (Last Light), 1993, is arguable one of Felix’s most intense works and is imbued with a beautiful melancholy. While the pile of glowing lights is still bright and vibrant, they will slowly begin to fade, inevitably one before the other, until they all burn out. Gonzalez-Torres’ art embraces contradictions and evokes and incredible appreciation for life, eloquently captured in this striking piece.