Born 1954, Wallingford, Connecticut; lives in New York, New York

Since the late 1970s, Robert Gober has been making objects, photographs, and large-scale installations that operate like faltering allegories shot through with anxious refrains. Diverse thematic concerns can be traced throughout his work, encompassing the iconography of Catholicism and the body, AIDS and perceptions of sexuality, childhood memories and ideals of the all-American family. Anomalous materials and incongruous scale often imbue Gober's objects with portentous meaning or suggest odd transfigurations. His wax torsos and limbs have an uncanny resemblance to pallid skin, for example, and his larger-than-life sticks of butter suggest an alternatively colossal reality. Drains and pipes appear regularly as cognitive triggers, surrogates for the conduits or orifices of the body, and water often seems to function as an agent of redemption or baptism, cleansing or drowning. Gober's 1997 mise-en-scène for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art included a concrete figure of the Virgin Mary run through with a bronze pipe and standing on a flooded storm-grate-cum-wishing-well. A 2005 chapel-like installation of works in New York featured a crucifix with a headless Christ-figure that cascaded water from its nipples into holes in the floor.

MA more about this artist in the Biennial Catalogue

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Detail from 1978–2000, 1978–2000. Gelatin silver print, 25½ x 33¾ in. (64.8 x 85.7 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York