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  • Provenance

    Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles

  • Exhibited

    Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum, Currents 20 / Recent Narrative Sculpture, 13 March-10 May 1992 (another example exhibited)
    London, Serpentine Gallery, Robert Gober, March-August 1993 then traveled to Liverpool, Tate (another example exhibited)
    Paris, Institut Néerlandais, Avant-première d'un musée - Le Musée d'Art Contemporain de Gand, 12 September-17October 1996 (another example exhibited)
    Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Robert Gober: Sculpture + Drawing, 13 February 1999- 9 May 2000 (another example exhibited)
    Munich, Staatsgalerie moderner Kunst im Haus der Kunst, Food for the Mind: Die Sammlung Udo und Anette Brandhorst, 9 June-8 October 2000 (another example exhibited)
    Baltimore, Baltimore Museum of Arts, BodySpace, 18 February-27 May 2001, (another example exhibited)
    Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, REALITY FANTASIES - Post Modern Art from the Astrup Fearnley Collection, 4 May- 29 September 2002 (another example exhibited)
    Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Robert Gober Displacements, 2 February- 21 April 2003 (another example exhibited)
    Cambridge, University of Cambridge - Kettle's Yard, the Unhomely, 8 November 2003-11 January 2004 (another example exhibited)
    New York, Guggenheim Museum, Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present, 13 March-10 May 2004 (another example exhibited)
    Osaka, National Museum of Art and Yokohama Museum, Mirrorical Returns: Marcel Duchamp and the 20th Century Art, 5 January-21 March 2005 (another example exhibited)
    Paris, Palais de Tokyo, Chasing Napoleon, 15 October 2009-10 January 2010 (another example exhibited)
    Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, Ordinary Madness, 15 October 2010-9 January 2011 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    Robert Gober, exh. cat., Serpentine Gallery, London: 1993, cover (another example illustrated)
    O. and P. Oliveira, Installation Art, London: 1994, p. 132 (another example illustrated)
    Robert Gober: Sculpture + Drawing, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2000, p. 99 (another example illustrated)
    BodySpace, exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 2001, n.p. (another example illustrated)
    A. Braun, Robert Gober - Werke von 1976 bis heute, Nürnberg: Verlag für Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2003, pp. 169 and 170 (another example illustrated)
    Robert Gober Displacements, exh. cat., Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, 2003, p. 45 (another example illustrated)
    H. Foster, Prosthetic Gods, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004, p. 326 (another example illustrated)
    M. Petry, Hidden Histories: 20th century male same sex lovers in the visual arts, London: Artmedia Press, 2004, p. 91 (another example illustrated)
    Lifelike, exh. cat., Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 2012, p. 179 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Robert Gober’s Drain looks, at first glance, like a humble piece of bathroom plumbing. This simple domesticity of form belies a profound and sensitive investment of personal and historical meaning in the quotidian. It belongs to a remarkable body of work; crafting sinks, urinals and furniture, Gober is a meticulous sculptor of the sanitary and the functional.

    Gober explains that ‘for the most part, the objects that I choose are almost all emblems of transition; they’re objects that you complete with your body, and they’re objects that, in one way or another, transform you.’ (Robert Gober in conversation with Craig Gholson, Bomb Magazine, Issue 29, Fall 1989). This corporeal metamorphosis is heavily present in Drain. The piece resembles a Duchampian readymade, Gober’s inscribed signature directly recalling the artist’s infamous tag on Fountain: yet, cast in pewter, it is a carefully handmade piece of reverential craftsmanship. Minimalism is made human, even sacramental. Ceremony and effluvia coalesce in this surprising baptismal font; Gober reflects on his sink series that ‘they’re vessels that fluids pass into and out of. In that way they are comparable to bodies.’ (Robert Gober in Julie Belcove, ‘Robert Gober retrospective, MoMA, New York,’ Financial Times, 8 August 2014).

    These works were a direct response to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. ‘I was a gay man living in the epicentre of 20th-century America’s worst health epidemic, and the sinks were a byproduct of that. What do you do when you stand in front of a sink? You clean yourself. Yet they were about the inability to [do that].’(Robert Gober in Julie Belcove, ‘Robert Gober retrospective, MoMA, New York,’ Financial Times, 8 August 2014). Gober imbues this scene of pain and despair with the redemptive object-worship of his Catholic upbringing. Radiating a powerful memorial aura, Drain is slight in scale but monumental in impact.




cast pewter
7.2 x 10.9 x 10.9 cm (2 7/8 x 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 in.)
Signed, titled and dated 'R.GOBER 1989 1 of 8 'Drain'' on the underside. This work is number 1 from an edition of 8 plus 2 artist's proofs.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £254,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
[email protected]
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London 29 June 2015 7pm