C-print jigsaw puzzle in plastic bagFelix Gonzalez-Torres is one of the most significant artists to emerge during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In its reduced formal vocabulary, conceptual rigor, and evocative use of everyday materials, the artist's work resonates with meaning that is at once specific and mutable, rigorous and generous, poetic and political.
Gonzalez-Torres considered himself to be principally a photographer. The photographic puzzles, created between 1987 and 1992, represent his longest engagement with any one body of work, and they speak to the artist's interest in commercial and readily available production methods. Along with his use of candy and stacks of paper, the puzzles exemplify his interest in the fragment and the whole, presence and absence. The imagery for the puzzles ranges from personal snapshots to re-photographed mass-media images. While each puzzle exists as a fully realized artwork, their presentation together serves as a poignant archive of Gonzalez-Torres's visual impressions, memories, and experiences, making for a unique alternate portrait of the artist. The installation constitutes the first time that all 55 of the puzzle works are being presented together.