Menu

News / Theaster Gates

Events

Still from Andrei Rublev (1966), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

Screening and Talk

Theaster Gates
Dr. Christina Kiaer

Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 7pm
Metrograph, New York
metrograph.com

Join Theaster Gates as he introduces The Trace, a film program he curated as part of a series copresented by Gagosian and Metrograph. Gates’s program explores filmic relationships across genres and decades that begin to lay out the origins of Russian engagement with Black American labor movements and analogous cinematic projects. Foregrounding the artist’s interest in propaganda and nation building, Gates and Dr. Christina Kiaer, Arthur Andersen Teaching and Research Professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, will discuss the political voicing and aesthetic and technical devices that appear in films about the Soviet project and the Black Power movement, anchoring their dialogue on Andrei Tarkovsky’s revered film Andrei Rublev, while reflecting on the sacred, the radicalized, and the culturally specific. Clips from Andrei Rublev, Soviet newsreels, and Zora Neale Hurston’s anthropological fieldwork in the rural South will be screened before the talk.

Purchase Tickets

Still from Andrei Rublev (1966), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

Still from Daughters of the Dust (1991), directed by Julie Dash

Screening

Theaster Gates Selects

November 16–27, 2022
Metrograph, New York
metrograph.com

Theaster Gates has curated a selection of films under the title The Trace, as part of a series copresented by Gagosian and Metrograph, in the theater and online. The program, organized in conjunction with the exhibition Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces at the New Museum, New York, will explore filmic relationships across different genres and decades that begin to lay out the origins of Russian engagement with Black American labor movements and analogous cinematic projects.

Still from Daughters of the Dust (1991), directed by Julie Dash

Theaster Gates takeover at the Gagosian Shop, London, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Shop Takeover

Theaster Gates

June 10–July 2, 2022
Gagosian Shop, London

Theaster Gates is taking over the Gagosian Shop in London’s historic Burlington Arcade on the occasion of his 2022 Serpentine Pavilion, Black Chapel, and his exhibition at Gagosian, Basel, titled ASHEN. For the takeover, Gates created an immersive environment in which visitors may explore his wide-ranging practice.

The display includes wall and floor sculptures featuring a range of clay vessels—tea bowls, water jars, sake cups—forms that are foundational to Gates’s art making. Downstairs, the basement floor of the Shop has been transformed into a reading room where visitors can browse a curated selection of books that have influenced the artist, with subjects ranging from urban planning and pottery to the Russian avant-garde. Two limited-edition vinyl records produced by Gates and his musical ensemble the Black Monks are also available.

Theaster Gates takeover at the Gagosian Shop, London, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel by Theaster Gates, London, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Iwan Baan, courtesy Serpentine

Commission

Theaster Gates
Serpentine Pavilion 2022

June 10–October 16, 2022
Serpentine Pavilion, London
www.serpentinegalleries.org

Theaster Gates has been commissioned to design the 2022 Serpentine Pavilion in London. Realized with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates and set within Serpentine’s grounds in Kensington Gardens, Black Chapel draws inspiration from the architectural typologies of both chapels and the kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, England, paying homage to British craft and manufacturing traditions. Continuing Gates’s ongoing experimentation with clay objects in his studio practice, the design also reflects the artist’s interest in space making through various urban revitalization projects. Open annually from June to October, the Serpentine Pavilion has become an international site for architectural experimentation.

To mark the opening of the Pavilion, Gates and Sir David Adjaye will be in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist on June 8 at 2pm. The wide-ranging discussion will encompass their respective work in art, architecture, urbanism, and space making. To attend the event, purchase tickets at ticketing.serpentingegalleries.org.

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel by Theaster Gates, London, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Iwan Baan, courtesy Serpentine

Installation view, Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon, Whitechapel Gallery, London, September 29–January 9, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Theo Christelis

In Conversation

Big Ideas
Theaster Gates with Magdalene Odundo and Lydia Yee

Thursday, November 11, 2021, 2pm est (7pm BST)

As part of Ways of Knowing: Earth/Matter, an online series of artist talks organized by the Whitechapel Gallery in London, Theaster Gates will be joined by artist Dame Magdalene Odundo DBE and Whitechapel chief curator Lydia Yee to discuss his current exhibition, A Clay Sermon, on view at the gallery through January 9, 2022. The trio will speak about how Gates’s transformation of clay—from geological substance into utilitarian and artistic material—stands as a powerful metaphor for his socially engaged work and wider artistic practice. To join the online event, visit buy.myonlinebooking.co.uk.

Installation view, Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon, Whitechapel Gallery, London, September 29–January 9, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Theo Christelis

Left: Theaster Gates. Photo: Rankin. Right: Louise Bernard

In Conversation

Theaster Gates
Louise Bernard

Tuesday, August 10, 2021, 6pm EDT

Join Theaster Gates and Louise Bernard, founding director of the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center, for a discussion about art and democracy on the occasion of the exhibition The Obama Portraits, on view at the Art Institute of Chicago through August 15, 2021. To join the online event, register at sales.artic.edu.

Left: Theaster Gates. Photo: Rankin. Right: Louise Bernard

See all Events for Theaster Gates

Announcements

Theaster Gates’s Dorchester Projects (2006–), Chicago. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Sara Pooley

Award

Theaster Gates
Kiesler Prize 2021

Theaster Gates has been awarded the twelfth Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts by a jury of his peers. The prize is awarded and endowed alternately every two years by the Republic of Austria and the City of Vienna and organized by the Vienna-based Austrian Frederick and Lillian Kiesler Private Foundation. Gates was recognized for his extraordinary achievements in effecting social change, spatial transformation, and empowerment through his creative practice, which spans a range of artistic genres connected with a social agenda and can be easily linked to the late artist/architect Frederick Kiesler’s belief in the unification of the arts with the built environment and the social notion of space. The ceremony took place in Vienna on June 15, 2022.

Theaster Gates’s Dorchester Projects (2006–), Chicago. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Sara Pooley

Theaster Gates, White Line Drawing, 2020 © Theaster Gates

Honor

Theaster Gates
American Academy of Arts and Letters

Theaster Gates will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters during a virtual award ceremony on May 19, 2021. Founded in 1898, the organization honors the country’s leading visual artists, architects, composers, and writers, and seeks to foster interest in literature, music, and art by administering awards, exhibiting work, funding performances, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums. Election into the American Academy of Arts and Letters is considered the highest form of recognition of artistic merit in the United States, and its 300 members are elected for life.

Theaster Gates, White Line Drawing, 2020 © Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates, Black Vessel for a Saint, 2017 © Theaster Gates. Photo: Gene Pittman

Permanent Installation

Theaster Gates
Black Vessel for a Saint

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has permanently installed Theaster Gates’s Black Vessel for a Saint (2017) in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. In 2014, St. Laurence Church, located just a few blocks from Theaster Gates’s Chicago studio and considered an architectural beacon in the neighborhood for more than a century, was demolished. Among the objects and materials that Gates collected from the building was a life-size stone statue of St. Laurence, a venerated Roman martyr and the patron saint of librarians and archivists. Gates included the statue in several exhibitions in Europe, revealing new meanings in each location, before placing it in its permanent home in the Sculpture Garden in 2017, within a shrine built from custom-made black bricks.

Theaster Gates, Black Vessel for a Saint, 2017 © Theaster Gates. Photo: Gene Pittman

Theaster Gates. Photo: Rankin

Award

Theaster Gates
Visions of the City

Theaster Gates was selected as the second recipient of the Visions of the City artist grant in July 2019. Launched by the Obayashi Foundation in 2017, the program awards one research grant every two years to an artist with an abundance of creative ideas and a specific interest in urban development and renewal.

Theaster Gates. Photo: Rankin

Photo: Sara Polley

Honor

Theaster Gates
Légion d’honneur

Theaster Gates was named Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur by the French Ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, in 2017. Reflecting the multifaceted contours of French society, the Légion d’honneur is the country’s highest order of merit. For two centuries, it has been presented on behalf of the Head of State to reward the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity.

Photo: Sara Polley

Theaster Gates speaking at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Award

Theaster Gates
2020 Crystal Award

Theaster Gates received the 2020 Crystal Award for his leadership in creating sustainable communities. Gates was awarded the prize at the January 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, alongside choreographer Jin Xing, actor Deepika Padukon, and artist Lynette Wallworth. The annual award is bestowed to cultural leaders who reflect on the human condition and provide visions of the world that can cut through the limitations of short-term or linear thinking.

Theaster Gates speaking at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

See all Announcements for Theaster Gates

Museum Exhibitions

Sally Mann, The Bath, 1989 © Sally Mann

On View

Monochrome Multitudes

Through January 8, 2023
Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
smartmuseum.uchicago.edu

Revisiting classic modernist ideas about flatness, idealized form, and colors, this exhibition opens up the seemingly reductive format of the monochrome to reveal its global resonance and creative possibilities while working toward a more expansive narrative of twentieth and twenty-first century art. Work by Alexander Calder, Walter De Maria, Helen Frankenthaler, Theaster Gates, Frank Gehry, Sally Mann, and Richard Serra is included.

Sally Mann, The Bath, 1989 © Sally Mann

Theaster Gates, The Double Wide, 2022, installation view, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson © Theaster Gates. Photo: Mitro Hood, courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, and Baltimore Museum of Art

On View

Theaster Gates in
A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration

Through January 29, 2023
Baltimore Museum of Art
artbma.org

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration explores the profound impact of the Great Migration on the social and cultural life of the United States from historical and personal perspectives. The Great Migration (1915–70) saw more than six million Black Americans leave the South for cities across the country. The exhibition features newly commissioned works in a variety of media by twelve Black artists who explore themes of perseverance, self-determination, and self-reliance in their practices. Informed by research, explorations, and conversations, they examine the impacts this historical phenomenon continues to have today. This exhibition has traveled from the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. Work by Theaster Gates is included.

Theaster Gates, The Double Wide, 2022, installation view, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson © Theaster Gates. Photo: Mitro Hood, courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, and Baltimore Museum of Art

Theaster Gates, Black Vessel for the Traces of Our Young Lords and Their Spirits–Vessel #1, 2022 (detail) © Theaster Gates. Photo: Jim Prinz

On View

Theaster Gates
Young Lords and Their Traces

Through February 5, 2023
New Museum, New York
www.newmuseum.org

Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces presents a selection of the artist’s paintings, sculptures, videos, performances, and archival collections that together memorialize both heroic figures and more humble, everyday icons. Gates’s elevation of these quieter sources of knowledge, and his assertion that collecting is a form of devotion and remembrance, has made his work reverberate on both local and international levels. In this exhibition the Chicago-based artist honors the radical thinkers who have shaped his practice and his world.

Theaster Gates, Black Vessel for the Traces of Our Young Lords and Their Spirits–Vessel #1, 2022 (detail) © Theaster Gates. Photo: Jim Prinz

Theaster Gates, The Double Wide, 2022, installation view, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson © Theaster Gates. Photo: Mitro Hood, courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, and Baltimore Museum of Art

Closed

Theaster Gates in
A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration

April 9–September 11, 2022
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
www.msmuseumart.org

A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration explores the profound impact of the Great Migration on the social and cultural life of the United States from historical and personal perspectives. The Great Migration (1915–70) saw more than six million Black Americans leave the South for cities across the country. The exhibition features newly commissioned works in a variety of media by twelve Black artists who explore themes of perseverance, self-determination, and self-reliance in their practices. Informed by research, explorations, and conversations, they examine the impacts this historical phenomenon continues to have today. Work by Theaster Gates is included.

Theaster Gates, The Double Wide, 2022, installation view, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson © Theaster Gates. Photo: Mitro Hood, courtesy Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, and Baltimore Museum of Art

Theaster Gates, Long Run, Left with Guide Line, 2018 © Theaster Gates. Photo: Evan Bedford

Closed

Theaster Gates in
Working Thought

March 5–June 26, 2022
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
cmoa.org

Working Thought examines the role that art can play in considering and questioning the myriad ways in which economic inequality and labor have shaped American life in the past and present. Featuring work by thirty-five contemporary artists working across mediums and generations, the exhibition presents new commissions and loans alongside works from the Carnegie Museum of Art’s collection, positioning its holdings in a new light and within the context of Pittsburgh’s history as a center of industry. Work by Theaster Gates is included.

Theaster Gates, Long Run, Left with Guide Line, 2018 © Theaster Gates. Photo: Evan Bedford

Theaster Gates, A Clay Sermon, 2021 (still) © Theaster Gates

Closed

Theaster Gates in
Hawai‘i Triennial 2022: Pacific Century–E Ho‘omau No Moananuiākea

February 18–May 8, 2022
Various locations around Oahu, Hawaii
hawaiicontemporary.org

Hawai‘i Triennial 2022 is framed around interweaving themes of history, place, and identity within the context of Hawaiʻi’s unique location at the confluence of the Asia Pacific region and Oceania. Installed across seven of Oahu’s major cultural institutions, the triennial features the work of more than sixty artists from Hawaii and beyond. The event is organized by Hawai‘i Contemporary, a Honolulu-based nonprofit organization. Work by Theaster Gates is included.

Theaster Gates, A Clay Sermon, 2021 (still) © Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates, Vessel #24, 2020, installation view, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, Athens © Theaster Gates

Closed

Theaster Gates
Vessels

February 4–April 30, 2022
Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, Athens
www.benaki.org

Vessels features a group of seven large-scale ceramic works by Theaster Gates in which the artist synthesizes ancient traditions and modern aesthetics, drawing elective affinities between Eastern, Western, and African techne. Gates’s consideration of the clay vessel as a universal object of ritual significance, which testifies to the primordial relationship between humankind and clay, is given full expression in the Benaki Museum galleries by virtue of comparison with ancient pottery from across the Eastern Mediterranean zone.

Theaster Gates, Vessel #24, 2020, installation view, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, Athens © Theaster Gates

Installation view, Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon, Whitechapel Gallery, London, September 29, 2021–January 9, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Theo Christelis

Closed

Theaster Gates
A Clay Sermon

September 29, 2021–January 9, 2022
Whitechapel Gallery, London
www.whitechapelgallery.org

Surveying two decades of work by Theaster Gates, from his early hand-thrown pots to his large-scale Afro-Mingei sculptures, A Clay Sermon investigates the material and spiritual legacies of clay. Exploring craft, labor, performance, and racial identity, as well as clay’s role in ceremony, ritual, colonialism, and global trade, Gates has made a selection of historical ceramics from private and public collections to exhibit alongside his own work. The exhibition includes a new film by Gates, which takes the form of a sermon on clay, and his most recent body of work: large stoneware vessels installed on plinths of hand-milled wood and stone.

Installation view, Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon, Whitechapel Gallery, London, September 29, 2021–January 9, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Theo Christelis

Installation view, Theaster Gates: Slight Intervention #5, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, September 18, 2021–January 9, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Jamie Stoker

Closed

Theaster Gates
Slight Intervention #5

September 18, 2021–January 9, 2022
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
www.vam.ac.uk

In this exhibition, Theaster Gates engages with histories of spirituality, Black music, craft, and modernism in two clay interventions. Using his skills as a potter, Gates communicates with makers across time and between cultures. The display includes a new vessel produced in response to American studio potter Peter Voulkos’s work and a vitrine containing objects made at Gates’s temporary workshop at the Istanbul Biennial.

Installation view, Theaster Gates: Slight Intervention #5, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, September 18, 2021–January 9, 2022. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: Jamie Stoker

Installation view, Aesthetics: Collection of Qiao Zhibing, Tank Shanghai, March 19–December 19, 2021. Artwork, left: © Thomas Houseago; center and right: © Theaster Gates. Photo: courtesy Tank Shanghai

Closed

Aesthetics
Collection of Qiao Zhibing

March 19–December 19, 2021
Tank Shanghai
www.tankshanghai.com

Qiao Zhibing, contemporary art collector and founder of Tank Shanghai, has selected works from his private collection by twelve Chinese and international contemporary artists for this exhibition, which explores the inspiration art brings to the public from a visual perspective. Work by Theaster Gates and Thomas Houseago is included.

Installation view, Aesthetics: Collection of Qiao Zhibing, Tank Shanghai, March 19–December 19, 2021. Artwork, left: © Thomas Houseago; center and right: © Theaster Gates. Photo: courtesy Tank Shanghai

Theaster Gates, Shoe Shine 1, 2009 © Theaster Gates. Photo: courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Closed

Theaster Gates in
The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse

May 22–September 6, 2021
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
www.vmfa.museum

The Dirty South investigates the aesthetic impulses of early twentieth-century Black culture that have become ubiquitous within the American South. The exhibition chronicles the sonic and visual parallels that have served to shape the contemporary landscape, and looks deeply into the frameworks of landscape, religion, and the Black body—deep meditative repositories of thought and expression. Within the visual arts, assemblage, collage, appropriation, and sonic transference are explored as deeply connected to musical traditions. Work by Theaster Gates is included.

Theaster Gates, Shoe Shine 1, 2009 © Theaster Gates. Photo: courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Theaster Gates, Monument in Waiting, 2020, installation view, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York © Theaster Gates. Photo: courtesy GRAY, Chicago/New York

Closed

Field of Dreams

August 20, 2020–August 31, 2021
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York
parrishart.org

Field of Dreams activates the Parrish Art Museum’s expansive meadows with sculpture by ten international, multigenerational artists that engages and responds to the museum’s architecture and landscape. Created to extend the galleries outdoors, the exhibition series is part of the Parrish’s new Art in the Meadow initiative that enlivens its 14-acre grounds with artworks, performances, and projections. Work by Theaster Gates, Roy Lichtenstein, and Giuseppe Penone is included.

Theaster Gates, Monument in Waiting, 2020, installation view, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York © Theaster Gates. Photo: courtesy GRAY, Chicago/New York

See all Museum Exhibitions for Theaster Gates