Francesc Torres is perhaps best known for sculptural, multi-media installations that engage in inquiries into social orders based on political and economic power relations. In these often architectural environments, such as The Head of the Dragon (1981), The Fury of the Saints (1996), and Oikonomos (1989), Torres articulates themes relating to the machinery of war and violence in the context of culture and history. His single-channel videotapes continue these investigations, contemplating the tensions between the persistence of time and the fragility of memory in politically charged spaces. Torres' video works are rooted in examinations of objects (architectural ruins, militaristic fetishes, media artifacts, etc.), spiraling outwards through associations, metaphors, and recurring images to link these contextualized narratives with larger cultural constructs.
Francesc Torres was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1948. He lived in Paris and Chicago before moving to New York in 1974, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1989. He has received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities, the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and the D.A.A.D. Berliner Kunstprogramm. He has also received a Fulbright Fellowship.
Torres' media projects have been included in solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Capp Street Project, San Francisco; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Bohen Foundation, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Gallery 21, St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic. Group exhibitions of Torres' work have included the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Biennial, New York; the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong; The New Museum, New York; The Russian State Museum, Leningrad, Russia; and Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw Poland. He lives in New York.