Robert Gober

"Shut up." "No. You Shut up".

Matthew Marks Gallery
522 W 22nd Street
New York
Chelsea
Nov 5th 2021 — Jan 29th 2022

Find out more

During our long winter of isolation, we spent a lot of time looking out of windows. Robert Gober, meanwhile, seems to have spent his time looking into them. The astonishingly lifelike objects in his new untitled sculptures, crafted from wood, gypsum, epoxy resin and other materials, sit behind panes of glass in square frames as if on a sill. The earliest of these prescient works, begun in 2018, includes a gentle cascade of paper snowflakes that appear to condense into white Styrofoam packing peanuts. A set of linen curtains, dipped in resin, have frozen mid-flutter. Two works feature fabricated cans of B.A. Farm Grease framed by curtains in a chintzy floral print, once again motionless in an imaginary breeze. Gober has crafted the flaking sashes on these windows from scratch, like everything else that lies within them. Few artists since Joseph Cornell have so deftly cut apertures into the subconscious, and these works permit multiple readings to trickle through them, from fond memories of home to recollections of confinement.

At Matthew Marks, the sculptures are presented alongside a series of recent drawings, all completed in the past year, which depict barred windows embedded in human hands and feet. They invite us to imagine an escape from the prison of our own flesh. As if to drive the point further, at the far end of the exhibition, a square hole cut from a man’s suit jacket, mounted to the wall, offers a view onto a real cascading waterfall. A room of indeterminate height and depth lies within that paternal cavity. Waterfall (2015–16) is one of Gober’s most arresting works, a reminder of all that flows behind our starched facades. If escape is even possible, its route will lead there—not out, but in. —Evan Moffitt

Robert Gober, Waterfall, 2015–2016. Wool, cotton, wood, paint on epoxy putty and resin, recycling pumps, lights, water, 115 × 67 × 64 inches. © Robert Gober, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    A traveling exhibition of 69 oil paintings, watercolors and works on paper aims to chart Milton Avery’s trajectory and contextualize his work for a new generation.

  • Through
    May 29th

    Inspired by fractals, Renee Cox’s deity-like collages of Black figures constitute an Afrofuturist creation myth.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    An economical survey of Jonas Mekas, “The Camera Was Always Running” serves as a touching introduction to the Lithuanian filmmaker and champion of avant-garde cinema.

  • Through
    May 22nd

    Exhibited with melodic sight-lines, Mary Manning’s “Ambient Music” hums with the background noise of the subconscious.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The words masterful and mastery assert themselves the instant one encounters the works in “My Body,” both for Nancy Grossman’s command of a wide range of skills and her active state of dominance, identity and selfhood.

  • Through
    May 23rd

    Full of whimsy and delight, Fernanda Laguna’s work in “The Path of the Heart” cuts an incisive critique of sociopolitical issues in Latin America.

  • Through
    May 28th

    The work in Valentina Vaccarella’s “Bless this Life” rests on a simple irony: monogrammed, embroidered French bridal linens pulled taut across stretcher bars and besmirched by rough images of modern madams.

  • Through
    Jun 6th

    Daniel Lie’s “Unnamed Entities” at the New Museum challenges the antiseptic aim of curation and conservation by imagining a different kind of organic art that needs to be nurtured rather than preserved.

  • Through
    Jan 2nd 2023

    The sonic encounters provoked by Camille Norment’s elaborate acoustic artworks serve as agents for social consciousness.

  • Ongoing

    Day’s End, an elegiac memorial to and stubborn ghost of eras bygone, will also serve as silent witness to the inevitable changes to come.

  • Ongoing

    Dia’s recent acquisition of works by Charles Gaines forms the basis of this survey, which includes the artist’s first forays into mathematics-based grid drawings and other early experiments in medium and form.