Marilyn Minter on Robert Gober


As part of the Annual Guide to Galleries, Museums and Artists (A.i.A.‘s August issue), we preview the 2014-15 season of museum exhibitions worldwide. In addition to offering their own top picks, our editors asked select artists, curators and collectors to identify the shows they are looking forward to. Here, artist Marilyn Minter talks about Robert Gober.

“Robert Gober was profound for me. He and I grew up during the same period, when everyone we knew was dying of AIDS. He made these amazing metaphorical pieces—the sink with constantly running water, the box of rat poison, the picture of himself in a wedding dress. They all have really exquisite details. In the early ’80s, I was so poor that I rented the front of my loft out to an art gallery, and he used to make elaborate doll houses and set them on fire there.

“His show at Dia [in 1992-93] was one of the best I’ve seen in my entire life. It had prison bars on the windows and his hand-painted wallpaper forest. This surreal jumble of images was poignant and deep, representing to me a great sense of loss. Half the people we knew died. Half. Can you imagine? It was like a war, a fucking war.

“I love Gober’s career, and I love the way he took off an entire year to curate that Charles Burchfield show, which was brilliant. Gober is  somewhat marginalized because he avoids white heat and doesn’t burn out. He’s one of my role models.”

“The Heart Is Not a Metaphor” will appear at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Oct. 5, 2014-Jan. 18, 2015.

Marilyn Minter is a New York-based artist.