Seemingly simple, two canvases with fine graphite lines are paired together, identically mimicking one another. Deliberately illusive, two single diagonal lines cross the square grids--whether they are descending or ascending is not made visually clear. In fact, Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" (Double Bloodworks) derives from one of the artist's ongoing projects in which he traced the waning T-cell blood count, the medical symptom of AIDS. Gonzalez-Torres executed only six other works of the "bloodworks" series on canvas. The number of canvases in each piece corresponds to the actual number of days of the blood testing.
Visually "Untitled" (Double Bloodworks) relates to the subtlety of works of Agnes Martin. In both cases, aesthetically these two artists seem to explore issues of light and form and in doing so, their works almost seem cold and distant. Yet the warmth is contained in the message the artist shares with the viewer. In that sense, "Untitled" (Double Bloodworks) may be seen as a visual autobiography, (illustrating the sentiments the artist felt in regards to his illness) but it also makes reference to the passage of time, and simultaneously maps a present state in time. In a sense, the work becomes a souvenir of sorts, a keepsake that one normally associates with a specific moment. Unlike a souvenir, that was purchased to remind one of a fond memory, the state which the artist describes is not transient, but it remains an inevitable and unavoidable truth.
At once social commentary and personal disclosure, a lyrical love letter, "Untitled" (Double Bloodworks) ultimately may be viewed as a tribute and a poetic memorial in which each individuals' personal interpretation is validated.
The pairing of these canvases echoes a theme that may be found in many of Gonzalez-Torres' works, as the artist frequently harmonized identical objects, making reference to the existence of the couple. Creating allusions to love, intimacy and desire, Gonzalez-Torres' works function as signs that generate many associations. The coupling of pairs through simple gestures and objects, imitating human presence, appears often in the artist's work: two chairs are placed side by side; two clocks are both set at an identical moment in time (fig.1); two pillows, rest by one another, ruffled by body imprints indicating a once shared bed (fig.2); two hanging light bulbs that radiate light and energy gently touch each other; and two identical mirrors, reflect a couple as well as represent a couple.
"In Gonzalez-Torres' ideal world, people do not endure alone; they survive in pairs, as part of loving couples who age together, no longer in danger of premature separation caused by incurable and inexplicable disease. Here, bodily fulfillment refers to being in love, to existing in a state of togetherness, to constituting a community of two." (N. Spector, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, New York 1995, p. 143)