Robert Gober

Biography of Robert Gober

Rising to prominence in the 1980s, the enormously popular American artist Robert Gober uses narrative to both humanize and mystify everyday aesthetics. Exploring everything from sexuality, relationships, nature, politics, and religion, Gober's finely crafted sculptures draw upon familiar household items and objects from his studio.


Robert Gober's intentions for his work often remain unexplained or merely hinted at, leaving the viewer to try and piece together the meaning. His famous series of sinks made during the 80s AIDS epidemic could at first be dismissed as readymades, until we realize that these are meticulously crafted plaster objects. Devoid of taps and therefore water, these artificial sinks are a comment on society's daily war on dirt yet also emblematic of humans' helplessness in the face of the epidemic. Among Gober's best-known works are his large room-sized installations made in his studio with painstaking attention to detail. Emanating from his first job working in the sewage department in his hometown of Wallingford, pipes and flowing water are recurring motifs that intimate notions of filth and cleanliness, orifices and pollution, salvation and death.


Born in the USA in 1954, Gober studied literature and then fine art before settling in New York where he worked as an artist assistant. He has also curated exhibitions and made photographs, multiples, prints, and drawings. In 2007 Gober exhibited at the prestigious Schaulager Museum in Basel, and MoMA, New York in 2014 held a retrospective that included over 130 sculptures. In 2001 he had the honor of representing America at the Venice Biennale. Robert Gober is in the permanent collection of MoMA amongst many other institutions.

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