Not on view
Beeswax, wood, glassine and fiber-tipped pen
Overall: 9 1/2 × 47 3/4 × 40in. (24.1 × 121.3 × 101.6 cm)
edition of 2
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Thomas H. Lee and the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee
Rights and reproductions
© 1994 Robert Gober
Robert Gober’s untitled sculpture encapsulates the same mix of the familiar and the strange, the organic and the manmade that has been a hallmark of the artist's three-dimensional works since the mid-1980s. A large-scale replica of a stick of butter, sculpted from beeswax and resting on an unfurled wax wrapper, is installed on the floor. Gober’s sculptures of ordinary household objects such as sinks, urinals, and drains—solitary, painstakingly handcrafted, and devoid of any markers of function or context—often seem to take on the anthropomorphic features of his models of severed or isolated body parts. This work is no exception: the stick of butter appears vulnerable and exposed, its flaxen hue suggestive of an unhealthy pallor. It might be interpreted as a stand-in for a human body, sickly and alone.