Theaster Gates

  • Born 1973 in Chicago, USA.
  • Based in Chicago, USA.

Theaster Gates creates works that engage with space theory and land development, sculpture, and performance. His work contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise ‒ one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist.

Gates has exhibited widely, and he is the recipient of numerous awards including an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects (2021); the 26th Annual Crystal Award (2020; Switzerland); J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development (2018; USA); and the Nasher Sculpture Prize (2018; USA). Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and serves as the Senior Advisor for Cultural Innovation.

In 2010, Gates created the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation that supports artists and strengthens communities through free arts programming and innovative cultural amenities on Chicagoʼs South Side.

  • Afro Ikebana, 2019
  • © Theaster Gates
  • Photo: Theo Christelis, Image courtesy of White Cube