mining for gold, with a candle

roni horn
gold field 1982

In 1982, Horn made a piece, Gold Field – a sheet of pure gold foil, four feet by five feet, that lies on the floor. When the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres and his partner Ross Laycock (who was HIV positive) saw the piece at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, it worked alchemically on them – a prima materia infused with creativity that magically (and there is no better word) gave them hope in the face of death. Laycock felt that his own imminent and expected death went into a kind of hesitation.

Later, and out of the friendship that formed between the three of them, Horn made Paired Gold Mats (1994-95). The purity of the material takes the imprint of Horn's creativity and of the relationship between the two of them, and the three of them. The mats look like sun on the water. They are still and they are still-moving.