Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor

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Chronicling a 40-year career, Robert Gober:The Heart Is Not a Metaphor is the first large-scale survey of Robert Gober’s (American, b. 1954) work to take place in the United States. The exhibition features approximately 130 works across several mediums, including individual sculptures, immersive sculptural environments, and a distinctive selection of drawings and prints. Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor is organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator, and Paulina Pobocha, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA, working in close collaboration with the artist.

Early on, Gober’s sculptures declared themselves an indispensable part of the landscape of late-twentieth century art; since then they have continued to evolve while remaining tightly bound to the principles outlined by the artist almost four decades ago. Gober places narrative at the center of his endeavor, embedding themes of sexuality, religion, and politics into work drawn from everyday life. Spare in its use of images and motifs while protean in its capacity to generate meaning, Gober’s work is an art of contradictions: intimate yet assertive, straightforward yet enigmatic. Taking imagery familiar to anyone—doors, sinks, legs—Gober dislocates, alters, and estranges what we think we know. Although a first glance might suggest otherwise, all of Gober’s objects are entirely handmade, by the artist and by collaborators with the necessary expertise.

The exhibition is made possible by Hyundai Card.

Major support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, and Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis.

Additional funding is provided by Chara Schreyer, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Vandermolen, Ann and Mel Schaffer, and the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.