Robert Gober American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 915

Gober, known for sculptures that approximate real objects using other materials, first worked with the butter churn in 1994 for its obsolescent, even melancholic, charm as well as the sexual connotations associated with its manual operation. Having researched many examples, he created an idealized version cast in bronze and finished with shoe polish to achieve the appearance of antiqued wood. For a project in Venice in 2001, Gober took a remaining bronze churn and applied masses of barnacle-shaped resin casts, adding a paler patina to approximate the look of driftwood. The result is a haunting specter that appears to have been dredged up out of a strange and eerie past.

Untitled, Robert Gober (American, born Wallingford, Connecticut, 1954), Bronze, shoe polish, plaster and painted resin

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