Screening and Talk
Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 7pm
Metrograph, New York
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 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.
Still from Andrei Rublev (1966), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Theaster Gates Selects
November 16–27, 2022
Metrograph, New York
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
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
June 10–October 16, 2022
Serpentine Pavilion, London
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
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
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
Sculpture Milwaukee 2021
June 25, 2021–Fall 2022
Theaster Gates has been invited to serve as a guest curator for Sculpture Milwaukee, a nonprofit organization transforming downtown Milwaukee’s cultural landscape every year with an outdoor exhibition of sculpture that acts as a catalyst for community engagement, economic development, and creative placemaking. Gates worked closely with cocurator Michelle Grabner to select artists for the 2021 exhibition, entitled there is this We, with further programming to be announced.
Theaster Gates. Photo: Sara Pooley
Vision & Justice Project and Sarah Elizabeth Lewis
Ava DuVernay, Theaster Gates, Franklin Leonard, Wynton Marsalis, Carrie Mae Weems
Thursday, May 6, 2021, 2:30pm EDT
As a central strand of its 2021 programming, Frieze New York will honor the exemplary work of the Vision & Justice Project, which is dedicated to examining the role of art in constructions of citizenship, race, and justice in the United States. Its founder Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, associate professor at Harvard University, will moderate a panel discussion on Black cultural production between musician Wynton Marsalis, director Ava DuVernay, the Black List founder Franklin Leonard, and artists Theaster Gates and Carrie Mae Weems. To attend the event, register at frieze.zoom.us.
Left to right, top to bottom: Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Ava DuVernay, Franklin Leonard, Theaster Gates, Wynton Marsalis, Carrie Mae Weems
Corinne Bailey Rae
Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 3pm EDT
Join the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for a conversation between Theaster Gates and Grammy Award-winning musician Corinne Bailey Rae. The London-based singer appears as a key performer in Gates’s two-channel video installation Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power? (2018), one of the featured works in the exhibition Future Histories: Theaster Gates and Cauleen Smith, on view at the museum through May 23. The pair will discuss their collaboration and Gates will screen an excerpt from this piece during the program. To join the online event, register at sfmoma-or.zoom.us.
Theaster Gates, Do you hear me calling? Mama Mamama or What Is Black Power?, 2018 (still) © Theaster Gates
Theaster Gates, Adrienne Brown, Jacqueline Stewart
Thursday, April 22, 2021, 8pm EDT
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Arts + Public Life, program directors Theaster Gates, Adrienne Brown, and Jacqueline Stewart will reflect on a decade of neighborhood-based arts production that has catalyzed ambitious physical transformations and intentional programmatic expansion on Chicago’s South Side. The conversation will be moderated by Tracie Hall, executive director of the American Library Association. Arts + Public Life is an initiative of University of Chicago Arts that provides platforms for artists and arts programming through residencies, arts education, creative entrepreneurship, artist-led programs, and exhibitions to promote a robust, collaborative, and evolving relationship between the University of Chicago and the South Side’s vibrant civic, cultural, and artistic communities. To join the online event, register at uchicago.zoom.us.
Theaster Gates, Public Notice, 2019 (still) © Theaster Gates. Photo: Chris Strong, courtesy Theaster Gates
Race to Justice
Thursday, April 29, 2021, 8pm EDT
Theaster Gates will speak as part of the University of California Santa Barbara’s lecture series Race to Justice, in which leading activists, creatives, and thinkers confront racism in America with the aim of guiding the country toward racial equality. Gates will draw on his work as an artist, musician, and urban planner to guide the discussion. The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by UCSB professor of Black studies Jeffrey Stewart. To join the online event, purchase tickets at artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Thursday, February 25, 2021, 4pm EST
Theaster Gates will be in dialogue with Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director of the New Museum, New York, on the occasion of Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America, an exhibition originally conceived by curator Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019). The show brings together thirty-seven artists who have addressed the concept of mourning, commemoration, and loss as a direct response to the national emergency of racist violence experienced by Black communities across America. This is the first program in a series of conversations highlighting the practices of artists participating in the New Museum exhibition. To join the online event, register at www.tfaforms.com.
Theaster Gates, Gone Are the Days of Shelter and Martyr, 2014 (still) © Theaster Gates
Friday, February 12, 2021, 3pm est
Theaster Gates will speak with Hawai‘i Triennial 2022 curatorial director Melissa Chiu as part of the inaugural Hawai‘i Contemporary Art Summit 2021. The pair will discuss the coalescence of art, craft, architecture, and urban planning in Gates’s artistic practice. The four-day virtual summit, which begins on February 10, brings together renowned keynote speakers, artists, curators, and thinkers from Hawai‘i and around the world for a series of talks, panels, performance-based events, and educational programming focused on art and ideas. To join the talk, register for the summit at hawaiicontemporary.org.
Photo: John R. Boehm
Monday, January 25, 2021, 6:30pm EST
Gagosian and the Studio Museum in Harlem are pleased to present Theaster Gates in conversation with Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. This event marks the closing of Black Vessel, Gates’s first-ever solo exhibition in New York, which opened to the public on October 10, 2020, at Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street. The speakers will be introduced by Gagosian director Louise Neri. To join, register at eventbrite.com or watch live on Gagosian’s YouTube channel.
Left: Theaster Gates. Photo: Sara Pooley. Right: Thelma Golden. Photo: Julie Skarratt
Gray Sound Sessions
Friday, July 31, 2020, 7–8pm edt
Theaster Gates and special guests will perform Gates’s sound piece Whoa de Whoa as part of Gray Sound Sessions, a free streaming weekly music-and-sound series featuring concerts, happenings, and experiments with form and platform. The event is put on by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago. To watch the live performance, visit Theaster Gates’s Instagram.
Photo: courtesy Theaster Gates Studio
Alternate Meanings in Film and Video
You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
Gagosian is pleased to present Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video, an online exhibition of artists’ films and videos viewable exclusively on gagosian.com. The exhibition will be organized into a series of “chapters,” each lasting two weeks. The first chapter begins on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video employs the innate immediacy of time-based art to spark reflection on the here and now, taking the words of famed psychologist and countercultural icon Timothy Leary as its starting point.
Adam McEwen, Escape from New York, 2014 (still from “Battery Tunnel”) © Adam McEwen
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:30pm
Gagosian, Britannia Street, London
Join Gagosian for a tour of the group exhibition American Pastoral. The show juxtaposes modern and contemporary works with historical American landscapes ranging from Albert Bierstadt’s depiction of the sublime in Sunset over the River (1877) to Edward Hopper’s tranquil seaside scene, Gloucester Harbor (1926). Gagosian’s Alice Godwin will focus on a select grouping of exhibited works that seek to challenge the idealized vision of the American Dream that has long been a rich topic of inquiry for artists in the United States. To attend the free event, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
Installation view, American Pastoral, Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, January 23–March 14, 2020. Artwork, left to right: © Theaster Gates, © Adam McEwen, Thomas Moran, © Richard Prince, © Banks Violette, © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Lucy Dawkins
Theaster Gates, Grace Wales Bonner, and Michael Ralph
Thursday, December 12, 2019, 4:30–6:30pm
Museum of Liverpool, England
On the occasion of Theaster Gates: Amalgam, opening on December 13 at Tate Liverpool, England, the artist will speak with fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner and Michael Ralph, associate professor and director of Africana studies at New York University. The trio will discuss how Gates’s art transforms places and aims to improve the lives of the people who live there. The artist will also share his thoughts about his ongoing artistic endeavors on questions of land ownership, displacement, and interracial relationships. The event has reached capacity.
Theaster Gates with his work So Bitter, This Curse of Darkness (2019) in the exhibition Theaster Gates: Amalgam at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2019. Artwork © Theaster Gates. Photo: © Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
2019 Benefit Art Auction
Live auction: Saturday, November 16, 2019, 8:30pm
Silent auction: November 1–16, 2019
Preview: November 12–16, 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents its annual Benefit Art Auction on Saturday, November 16, with a cocktail reception and viewing of the available works, followed by a seated dinner and live auction. Works by leading artists, including Virgil Abloh, Theaster Gates, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Sarah Sze, and Christopher Wool, have been donated. All proceeds support MCA programs and exhibitions. For information on works in the live or silent auctions, visit artsy.net. To attend the event, purchase tickets at mcachicago.org.
Richard Prince, Untitled, 2018 © Richard Prince
The Extreme Present
Opening reception: Tuesday, December 3, 5–8pm
December 4–8, 2019
Moore Building, Miami
Gagosian is pleased to announce The Extreme Present, the fifth in a series of annual exhibitions at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District during Art Basel Miami Beach, presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch. The Extreme Present will explore artists’ reactions to the conditions of our accelerating and increasingly complex world. The title is inspired by The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, a book by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, published in 2015. Their provocative thesis addresses the rapidly evolving digital era, half a century after Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking study on technology’s influence on culture, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in which he coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” Works in this exhibition explore concepts of media, communication, togetherness, and isolation.
Download the full press release (PDF)
The Extreme Present
Screening and Talk
Dance of Malaga
Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 7–8:30pm
Getty Center, Los Angeles
To conclude the Getty Scholar Year Symposium on the theme of monumentality, keynote presenter Theaster Gates—current artist-in-residence at the Getty Research Institute—will screen his recent film Dance of Malaga (2019). The film is a monument to the people of Malaga Island, Maine, and a meditation on love and race in America. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the Research Institute’s deputy director, Andrew Perchuk. To attend the free event, reserve tickets at tickets.getty.edu.
Theaster Gates. Photo: Rankin
Vision and Justice: A Convening
April 25–26, 2019
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Theaster Gates is participating in “Vision and Justice,” a two-day creative gathering that will consider the role of the arts in understanding the nexus of art, race, and justice. The program will emphasize short presentations, with the goal of outlining and catalyzing ideas for future work in art and justice around the country and the world. To attend the free event, register at www.boxoffice.harvard.edu. To live-stream the event, visit www.radcliffe.harvard.edu.
Theaster Gates. Photo: Julian Salinas
Black Artists Retreat 2019
October 11–12, 2019
Park Avenue Armory, New York
Theaster Gates will host his renowned Black Artists Retreat for the first time outside of Chicago. This iteration of the retreat, which Gates conceived of as re-creating the kind of public-spirited dialogue that the artist associates with the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, includes a public celebration with roller-skating, DJs, and performers amid an installation of some of the artist’s famous “housebergs”—7-foot-tall sculptural disco balls shaped like icebergs. To attend the event, purchase tickets at www.armoryonpark.org.
Photo: Andre Wagner