Extensively annotated, collaged and drawn by the artist on 46 pages and the front and back covers. In 1999, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis staged a seminal exhibition of Robert Gober’s sculptures and drawings, which defined Gober as one of the leading artists of the contemporary era. The catalogue produced for the exhibition contains illustrations of many of Gober’s most celebrated pieces, and in the present work Gober has amended this text with personal reflections and by creating new artworks from the pages that exist in a continuing dialogue with his early work. Peppered throughout the book are scores of unique additions from the artist, including penciled-in notes, additions to drawings, cut-out and pasted pictures, pages that have been glued together or torn out and glued back in upside-down and more.
As captured in his iconic sculptures of sinks or disembodied legs, Gober’s art is characterized by powerful tensions between function and dysfunction, mundane and surreal, presence and absence, physical and conceptual, and humor and pain, and he has continued these themes in this work. For example, a drawing on Chateau Marmont paper from the original text is now updated with a new piece of the hotel’s stationary. On certain pages, he has cut out pieces of the illustrations, leaving blank squares in the middle of the images, and on the back of another page he has affixed a manila folder that appears to have come from his home or studio, labeled “Taxes 2012.” Handwritten notations abound in the text, mirroring the signature handcrafted quality of Gober’s art, and include such sentiments as the artist’s recollection of a broken cello he bought on eBay, or his wish that he still owned one of the works illustrated in the text.
Keenly intelligent and self-referential , these additions to Robert Gober: Sculpture + Drawing feel so intensely personal as to resonate within the viewer as something known. It illuminates both the artist’s creative process and personality, and it is a significant piece of the story of Gober’s enduring legacy.
Robert Gober (b. 1954), Robert Gober: Sculpture + Drawing. Printed book with Printed paper collage, graphite, ink, tape and staples 11 x 8 1/4 x 1 14 in. Published in 1999 and executed in 2014.