Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Galerie Chantal Crouzel, Paris
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Robert Gober is widely known for his sculptural and installation-based work that surreally explores sexuality, religion, and politics by subtly adapting and transforming familiar domestic objects. Apart from the subject of his work, what sets Gober's artistic practice apart from other artists of his generation is the utmost care, precision, and rigor he devotes to his intricately detailed and structurally complex works.
In 1986, after putting to rest his series of handcrafted sinks that had brought him recognition in the New York art world, Gober began serially exploring beds and other intimate, domestic objects, which led to the creation of furniture in his characteristic and refined handmade style. Study for the Slip-Covered Armchair is a pastiche of various pieces of parchment on which Gober skillfully drew a saccharine, bucolic scene brimming with flora and fauna. Gober placidly describes the creation of the slipcover in his 2007 catalogue raisonné, "The pattern of the fabric came from a book of embroidery designs. They were line drawings. I traced them, [and then] adjusted them in color with fabric paint on a length of linen that I dyed in diluted coffee on my stove at home." The bountiful imagery is made up of a patterning of pansies and daffodils, lilac sprigs and robins, dragonflies and redbirds, water lilies and ferns. Study for the Slip-Covered Armchair reveals Gober's meticulous working process and offers an insight to the artist's personal interests, which Gober describes as wholly intimate, "Whenever I give a talk about my work I am invariably asked who my influences are. After all, in terms of influences, it is as much the guy who mugged me on 10th Street, or my beloved dog who passed away much too early, as it was Giotto or Diane Arbus."
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