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The New York Times

Installation view of Robert Gober’s “Cows at a Pond” at Demisch Danant. It includes, at center, the artist’s sculpture “Dollhouse 2,” from 1977; John Ahearn’s 1991 painted plaster, “Lazaro,” on the wall; and some furnishings from Gober’s home. Credit...Robert Gober, via Demisch Danant, New York; William Jess Laird


by Roberta Smith

The artist, displaying his own work along with his idiosyncratic holdings, invites rumination on the state of the nation at Demisch Danant gallery.

The artist Robert Gober must be a consummate shopper. “Cows at a Pond,” his fragmentary but resonant portrait of the United States at Demisch Danant, has been curated entirely from his own possessions. That is, from his own art and work by other artists living and dead that he has collected, combined with selections from the ephemera and Americana he has accumulated over the years, including some of his household furniture.

Visiting this show can seem stepping inside a grand, laser-sharp obsession. You can picture Gober — whose best-known sculptures use familiar but distorted objects to conjure some of the perils of childhood — paging through obscure auction catalogs and haunting thrift shops. In addition he seems to regularly pore over all kinds of printed matter, tracking down or coming across the odd bit of ephemera that may have a use that only he can see.

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