Gober has occasionally presented his works in museum collections, associating them with art and everyday objects from a wide variety of historical and geographical contexts. The current collection presentation at the Kunstmuseum Basel takes up the process as a homage. It brings Gober's art into dialogue with works from different epochs. A main focus is on works that reflect the imaginative world of Catholicism. Thus, early modern depictions of martyrdoms and the body of Christ meet a painting by Maria Lassnig and a sculpture by Richard Artschwager in the form of a confessional.
On the occasion of several new additions to the collection of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, director Josef Helfenstein has conceived a presentation of works from the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation and the permanent collection of the Kunstmuseum Basel in the passageway between the main building and the new building.
The talk is a joint initiative of Kunstmuseum Basel and Schaulager, where the permanent installation Untitled, 1995-1997, is on view.
The work of Robert Gober (USA, b. 1954) touches on themes of nature, sexuality, religion, and politics. From a queer perspective, the artist examines the symbolic order of the postwar period, especially the afterlife of Christian thought-images. At the center of his work is the collective unconscious and repressed.