Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor
Robert Gober rose to prominence in the mid-1980s and was quickly acknowledged as one of the most significant artists of his generation. Early in his career, he made deceptively simple sculptures of everyday objects–beginning with sinks and moving on to domestic furniture such as playpens, beds and doors. In the 1990s, his practice evolved from single works to theatrical room-sized environments. In all of his work, Gober’s formal intelligence is never separate from a penetrating reading of the socio-political context of his time. His objects and installations are among the most psychologically charged artworks of the late twentieth century, reflecting the artist’s sustained concerns with issues of social justice, freedom and tolerance. Published in conjunction with the first large-scale survey of the artist’s career to take place in the United States, this publication presents his works in all media, including individual sculptures and immersive sculptural environments, as well as a distinctive selection of drawings, prints and photographs. Prepared in close collaboration with the artist, it traces the development of a remarkable body of work, highlighting themes and motifs that emerged in the early 1980s and continue to inform Gober’s work today. An essay by Hilton Als is complemented by an in-depth chronology featuring a rich selection of images from the artist’s archives, including never-before-published photographs of works in progress.