(American, b. 1954)
Lithograph on newsprint with handtorn edges, printed on both sides and folded three times, hand-colored with coffee (coffee stain) by the artist
Sheet: 55.5 x 34.5 cm (21 7/8 x 13 9/16 in.)
Gift of Stephen Dull 2020.242
© Robert Gober, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Edition: Edition 1/75 (each unique)
The coffee stain on this fabricated newspaper page was in fact meticulously painted on by the artist.
Robert Gober’s Untitled seems to be a real page out of the Metropolitan section of the New York Times from Thursday, October 4, 1960, but in fact it has been meticulously fabricated—by way of patched-together stories, found photographs, and invented newspaper copy—by the artist. The announcements of sunny weather, a strong market, and wedding nuptials are interspersed with alarming stories about a twelve-year-old girl held prisoner by her parents in a closet, and the drowning of a boy in a pool. The drowned child’s name is Robert Gober, and the date is the year Gober turned six. This reference to his own imagined death set within optimistic announcements of marriage and market earnings aligns with Gober’s fascination, throughout his work, with the contrasts between life’s simultaneously hopeful and horrific existence.
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