IN 1996, the year Felix Gonzalez-Torres died, I made a version of his “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers), 1987–90, by hanging two identical battery-operated clocks side by side on my living-room wall. I had always admired his work, and, like friends who had foil-wrapped candies sitting on their bookshelves or a sheet of paper from one his stacks pinned to their walls, I too wanted to live with a Felix. A decade later, I still have my Felix. It’s hanging in my studio, and when I look up at it, I’m reminded of the economy, toughness, and beauty of his multifaceted practice, its wit and generosity, its impact on us all. Now, I didn’t know Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Felix Gonzalez-Torres wasn’t a friend of mine. And I’m no Felix Gonzalez-Torres. But Felix is the artist that artists of my generation feel on a first-name basis with. It is his interviews and writings that we pass along to students; his work that we make pilgrimages to see; his passing that we most deeply mourn.

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