Felix Gonzalez-Torres: “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers)

Between 1987 and 1990 artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres made an edition of 3 plus 1 artist’s proof of “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers)”, which consists of a identical pair of store-bought black-rimmed clocks. The piece was dedicated to his lover Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. In the same year Gonzalez-Torres created a white version of the work, which is owned by the MoMa, New York. The guidelines regarding how the work should be arranged and displayed are the following: “When installed, the two clocks were to touch; the clocks could be replaced with white plastic commercial clocks of similar dimensions and design; the minute and second hands were to be set in sync, with the understanding that eventually they might go out of sync during the course of the exhibition; if one of the clocks needed the batteries replaced, it was to be done, and the clocks were to be reset accordingly; the clocks were to be displayed on a wall painted light blue.”
“Untitled (Perfect Lovers)” is sometimes are shown with this love letter to Laycock Gonzalez-Torres wrote in 1988. This love letter to Laycock Gonzalez-Torres wrote in 1988 explains to some extend in which ways the clocks for him symbolize the love between two people:

When I posted this a couple of hours ago I wrote that the letter above is sometimes exhibited together with “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers). But seems like I should better have double-checked the information – I just received an email by Allison Hemler, director of archives and communications at the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, who states: “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers) is never reproduced with the letter you have included an image of — this is a piece of personal correspondence which has only ever been published, and ever will be published, in the monograph on Felix Gonzalez-Torres edited by Julie Ault. It would never be shown in an exhibition as the artist only wanted his work to be shown in exhibitions. It was only published in Julie Ault’s book as a very special case.” 


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