Robert Gober’s art is deeply engaged with everyday life—and at the same time profoundly disruptive of it. He emerged in New York in the mid-1980s, presenting deceptively simple sculptures of ordinary objects. Gober created Untitled using materials purchased at a local lumberyard and a neighborhood store. Far from commonplace, though, this bed is surreal: a personal space of dreaming and desire that is strangely generic, recalling a dollhouse copy or a vague childhood memory. Untitled appeared at a moment when the personal was overtly political, when queer communities in New York were fighting for equal rights, and the AIDS crisis was just beginning. Eternally empty, Gober’s “bed” evokes both unfulfilled longing and unfathomable loss.
Gallery label from 2021