Theaster Gates

American, b. 1973

2,263 followers
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Theaster Gates

American, b. 1973

2,263
Followers
Biography

Claiming, “I think I’m a full-time artist, a full-time urban planner, and a full-time preacher with an aspiration of no longer needing any of those titles,” Theaster Gates makes work focused on racism and poverty in America, and works to make change in downtrodden communities across the country. His practice is grounded in African-American history and culture, and in his own experience growing up on the South Side of Chicago. Slavery, industrial exploitation, and the Civil Rights Movement feature prominently in his sculptures, installations, and performances, into which he incorporates such materials as shoe shine stations and fire hoses. During the 2008 financial crisis, Gates decided to focus on fostering improvement through art. Starting in his own neighborhood and expanding to other communities, he has effectively rejuvenated numerous abandoned buildings, transforming them into vibrant social hubs and cultural spaces.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
user
Solo show at a major institution
Kunstmuseum Basel, and 3 more
group
Group show at a major institution
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and 6 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 4 more
Biography

Claiming, “I think I’m a full-time artist, a full-time urban planner, and a full-time preacher with an aspiration of no longer needing any of those titles,” Theaster Gates makes work focused on racism and poverty in America, and works to make change in downtrodden communities across the country. His practice is grounded in African-American history and culture, and in his own experience growing up on the South Side of Chicago. Slavery, industrial exploitation, and the Civil Rights Movement feature prominently in his sculptures, installations, and performances, into which he incorporates such materials as shoe shine stations and fire hoses. During the 2008 financial crisis, Gates decided to focus on fostering improvement through art. Starting in his own neighborhood and expanding to other communities, he has effectively rejuvenated numerous abandoned buildings, transforming them into vibrant social hubs and cultural spaces.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
user
Solo show at a major institution
Kunstmuseum Basel, and 3 more
group
Group show at a major institution
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and 6 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 4 more
Shows Featuring Theaster Gates
Articles Featuring Theaster Gates
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Dec 16th, 2019
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Dec 9th, 2019
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Feb 25th, 2019
This Exhibition Traces the History of Lynching in America
Sep 1st, 2017
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