In keeping with Gonzalez-Torres's intentions to allow the work to speak for itself, the central focus of this website is the Works section.
The Works section strives to portray, almost exclusively through the use of images, Gonzalez-Torres’s purposeful employment of varied strategies across and throughout different bodies of work. We hope the Works section will foster discovery for each viewer, as we use some of the strategies Gonzalez-Torres employed in the work itself: variation, complexity, comparison, contradiction... While there is nothing that can replace a first-hand interaction with the work, the structural design and content of the Works section attempts to represent the purposeful breadth, diversity, specificity, in many cases malleability, and constantly evolving histories of each work within Gonzalez-Torres’s oeuvre, and how the works exist in the world both within and beyond the spaces of exhibition.
All works in Gonzalez-Torres’s oeuvre are represented on this website.
The individual Works pages will be continually adapted in order to most accurately reflect the full parameters of each of Gonzalez-Torres’s works and their evolving histories.
The Works section relies on both professional and candid photography (see Photographic Documentation Archives).
Decision-Making Around the Works Section Architecture:
Bodies of Work:
Bodies of work are listed alphabetically, creating an equivalency which allows for the viewer to adopt a holistic and non-hierarchical approach to viewing. These categories are not restricted to classification by medium. The categories most often reflect the way that Gonzalez-Torres commonly referred to bodies of work. In some cases, a work may exist in more than one body of work. Regardless of which body of work you are viewing, the entire list of bodies of work remains visible and accessible on the left-hand side for ease of context, access, and comparison. (There is also the option to view all works in chronological order.)
The Function of the Vertical Scroll within each Body of Work:
There are two components to the vertical scroll: on the left-hand side there is an image scroll with a selected image to represent each work in a body of work. For this vertical scroll, the images chosen to represent each work were primarily selected to create and reflect the diversity and complexity within the total body of work. On the right-hand side of the vertical scroll is each work’s associated caption. The architectural structure of this vertical scroll component of the Work section affords the viewer a number of opportunities: one can scroll through the selected images to get a sense of the total number of works within a body of work, as well as a sense of the variation within a body of work. This structure also affords the viewer the opportunity to clearly compare all the captions and their potential diversity from each other within a body of work, in a single scroll. Additionally, in the case of malleable works, the vertical scroll structure mimics the way that an exhibition setting provides the purposeful opportunity for a viewer to grapple with the potential contradictions between the way they are experiencing the physical work at any given moment, and Gonzalez-Torres’s intentionally static work captions.
A note on work captions: While the 1997 Catalogue Raisonné in some cases adopted strategies to standardize work captions within each body of work (and in some cases across bodies of work), for this website the Foundation worked to recapture and reincorporate both the purposefully specific structure and the diversified information and language that Gonzalez-Torres employed in captions from work to work. Separately, there are also instances in which language included in captions has changed over time to better reflect the nature of the work.
Viewing Individual Work Pages:
Each work is intentionally represented by multiple images in a grid structure, allowing a viewer to compare and contrast a number of images of a given work simultaneously.
While this grid structure is employed in order to foster understanding of the principles, nature, and history of each particular work, it is essential to explore all the individual work pages in a given body of work in order to understand the nature of a whole body of work. Moving between pages both promotes the type of questioning and exploration we hope this website will foster, and fills in gaps when documentation for any particular work may not yet fully represent the total scope of the nature of a given work.
The strategies used to structure the order of images for the Works pages varies. While this creates a purposeful visual diversity from page to page, the goal is more particularly to emphasize what is illuminated through each work’s specific exhibition history. Each page may concentrate on such things as: the diversity of installation contexts, how an owner or authorized borrower's rights and responsibilities to make decisions are reflected in an installation of a malleable or manifestable work (e.g., how the work may have been regenerated throughout an exhibition, the diversity of material choices, the configuration choices around a given installation of the work, the number of locations a work may have been installed in at any given time...), how audiences alter and contribute to the work both within the exhibition site and beyond, etc.
The Works pages are not always chronological, nor do they attempt to include every installation or manifestation for that work. However, in most cases the first installation of a work is represented in the top left corner of each work page.
At the bottom of each work page there is a complete exhibition history for that specific work, starting in order of the first installation. Entries in each work page’s exhibition history link (where possible) to a press release and full checklist of works for each exhibition.
All individual images in the image grid may be enlarged to reveal specific caption and exhibition information. The structural architecture of the website purposefully does not include the ability to scroll between enlarged images in order to prioritize comparative viewing between images in the grid.
The Foundation will continuously update the work pages as it accrues meaningful documentation of new installations, and images that may be additive to the fuller representation of the nature of each work.