Theaster Gates, director of Arts & Public life at the University of Chicago, has developed an expanded artistic practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics. Gates transforms spaces, institutions, traditions, and perceptions.
Gates's training as an urban planner and sculptor, and subsequent time spent studying clay, has given him keen awareness of the poetics of production and systems of organizing. Playing with these poetic and systematic interests, Gates has assembled gospel choirs, formed temporary unions, and used systems of mass production as a way of underscoring the need that industry has for the body.
Recent exhibition and performance venues include Locust Projects, Miami; the Seattle Art Museum; Art Basel Miami Beach; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Milwaukee Art Museum; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and the Whitney Biennial and Armory Show in New York. Gates was a participating artist in dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany, with his '12 Ballads for Huguenot House'. In Fall 2012, Gates debuted in London with his solo show 'My Labor is My Protest,' at White Cube Bermondsey. Gates will be exhibiting 'Theaster Gates: Soul Manufacturing Corporation--To Make the Thing that Makes the Things' at Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA, from January 21 through late Spring.
Gates was recently awarded the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, honored by the Wall Street Journal as Arts Innovator of the Year, and commissioned as the Armory Show Artist 2012. USA Artists named him as the USA Kippy Fellow 2012. A Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2011, Gates has received awards and grants from Creative Capital, the Joyce Foundation, Graham Foundation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Artadia. Gates is represented by Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago and White Cube in London.
Co-sponsor: Penn IUR