Robert Gober

Untitled

1989–92

Medium
Wax, wood, leather, fabric and human hair
Dimensions
Object: 300 x 160 x 515 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1992
Reference
T06658

Display caption

Gober created a series of morbid sculptures resembling severed limbs or body fragments. They relate to a powerful childhood memory. Gober's mother, a nurse, told her son how, when attending an operation, she was handed a severed leg. This memory became an obsessive image for Gober. He also describes glimpses of bare male legs as a symbol of homoerotic desire. The sculpture's hyperrealism is subverted by its surreal placement in the gallery. Positioned on the floor as if pushed through the wall the leg seems both ordinary and disturbing.

Gallery label, August 2004