Félix González-Torres

Untitled (Ross in L.A.)

1991–1991

Felix Gonzalez-Torres produced work of uncompromising beauty and simplicity, transforming the everyday into profound meditations on love and loss. “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is an allegorical representation of the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991.

This piece has local importance as Ross Laycock was born in Calgary in 1959 and his family moved to Norman Wells, a small mining and oil town in the Northwest Territories of Canada, in 1971.

On January 24, 1991, Ross died in Toronto from AIDS-related complications and Felix faced one of the greatest trials imaginable – the obligation to continue living. Until 1996, the time of his own death, Felix would create some of his most prolific work, repeatedly proclaiming that it was made for an audience of one, Ross.

This piece was obtained by local queer artist Mark Clintberg, who folded it before gifted it to a queer Romanian artist based in Calgary, Bogdan Cheta who gifted it to us.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

American, born Cuba, 1957 - 1996
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Photo credit: Jessica McCarrel