Artwork details

Split-Up Conflicted Sink
Plaster, wood, mesh, steel, enamel paint
296 x 207 x 64 cm

Robert Gober

b. 1954

Robert Gober introduced his very personal take on Appropriation art in the 1980s and 90s. Familiar objects from the home environment such as a crib, a sink, a drain, or a stack of newspapers create the initial impression of ready-mades, but all are handmade by the artist. The works are strongly infused with his memories, but they also trigger emotions that are common to us all, such as discomfort, doubt and suffering. Existing in dialogue with the things we consider ‘normal’, Gober’s works investigate his sense of ‘otherness’ as a gay man. The transfigured objects tell their stories on several different levels, presenting intricate and mystifying narratives concerned with childhood, sexuality, religion, discrimination and memory. On closer inspection they take on a symbolic character, onto which the viewer’s experiences and unconscious desires can be projected.


This work is part of a series of sinks in which Gober has created variations on the shape of the utility sink. Here the sink is split up into a Y shape, and the question arises as to how much he can alter and contort the shape of the sink before it departs from the domain of the sink and moves towards the edge of becoming something else entirely. The title also introduces a psychological and emotional dimension to the sculptural object.

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© Astrup Fearnley Museet