Many art museums might describe their offerings as a “treat” for their patrons, but the Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV means it literally. For the next year-and-a-half, visitors to the Barrick will find a large pile of individually wrapped green candies on the gallery floor, and they are encouraged to take a piece. Far from an accidental spill or promotional gimmick, the candy pile is one of the more famous works by artist Félix González-Torres, titled simply “Untitled” (L.A.), on loan to the Barrick Museum of Art from the Art Bridges collection.
An openly gay man in the height of the AIDS crisis, González-Torres ostensibly created “Untitled” (L.A.) in homage to a personal loss—that of his long-time partner, Ross Laycock, who succumbed to the disease the year the piece was created in 1991. Five years later, it claimed Gonzalez-Torres himself. Many of his pieces with “L.A.” in the title refer to a time and place when he and Laycock lived happily together.