Collection > Gates, Theaster

Born in 1973


2006 Iowa State University, M.S. Urban Planning, Ceramics, Religious Studies

1998 University of Cape Town, M.A. Fine Arts, Religious Studies

1996 Iowa State University, B.S. Urban Planning, Ceramics

Solo Exhibitions

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

White Cube, London

An Epitaph for Civil Rights, LA MOCA, Los Angeles, CA

The Listening Room, Seattle Art Museum, WA

An Epitaph for Civil Rights and Other Domesticated Structures, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL

To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave the Slave Potter, Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Dry Bones and Other Parables From the North, Pulitzer Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO

Temple Exercises, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

Holiness in Three Parts, Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis, MO

On Another Note: Extractions from the Chicago Jazz Archive Collection, DOVA Temporary, Chicago, IL

Symposium on Contemporary Painting, Performance, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL

Yamaguchi in Residence, Experimental Station, Chicago, IL, one year, ongoing lifestyle performance

Culture Community #1 meets Culture Community #2, Dinner Intervention, Chicago, IL

Representations Series, Talking Series concentrated on the concerns and thoughts of contemporary artists of color, in partnership with the Experimental Station and Illinois Humanities Council, Chicago, IL

Artists Connect, Performance Lecture, 16th Century Japanese Aesthetics, Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Uprising, Voice, Violin and Cello, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

Yamaguchi Institute, Plate Convergence, Recreation of the Candy “Stow," Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL,

Acquisition and renovation of a small South Side commercial building for dinner interventions; recycled materials, local labor, Chicago, IL

Life After Qualls, African American Artists Respond to the works of Michael Qualls. Performance and sculpture at South Side Community Arts Center, Chicago, IL

Un-housed, Gentrification and the constant need for Space, Architecture and design conference, Chicago, IL

Rachmaninov and the Slave Spiritual, Piano, Violin and Voice, Ames, IA

The American Negro; Too good to be True, St. George Cathedral, Capetown, South Africa

People of the Mud, An exhibition of 15 ceramic artists, Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL

Mississippi Houses, Inax Ceramic Museum, Tokoname, Japan

Facing Fuji: 10 Sculptors in Japan, Tokoname Museum of Ceramic History, Tokoname, Japan

Theaster /gates, Yakimono Ceramics Exhibition, Tokoname, Japan

Group Exhibitions/Performances

Feast: Radical Hospitality and Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL, Including the Italian Futurists to Gordon Matta-Clark and Rirkrit Tirvanija, Curated by Stephanie Smith

40 Under 40, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

Event Horizon, Recent Acquisitions, Walker Art Center, MN

The Armory Show, Kavi Gupta CHICAGO, New York, NY

Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism Inspired Contemporary Art, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, NY

Cosmology of the Yard, Whitney Biennial 2010,
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Hand+Made Contemporary: Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Toward a Legendary Black Clay Superhero, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX,

Black Monks of Mississippi, Performance, South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, IL

Holiness in 3 Parts, Performance, Boots Contemporary Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Black Monks and the Gospel of Black, Performance, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Nada Art Fair, Kavi Gupta CHICAGO, Miami, FL

Branded Alongside the Cabinet of Curiosities, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

Tea Shacks, Collard Greens and the Preservation of Soul, Center for the Proliferation of Afro-Asian Artifacts, Chicago, IL

Contemporary Response to the Plantation Cabinet, circa 1782, Chipstone Foundation Estate, Milwaukee, WI

Black Monks and the Gospel of Black, Performance, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Black Monks of Mississippi, If You See Jesus Tell Him Where I Am, Performance, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

Storied Toy: The Emotional and Imaginative Relationship Between a Boy and His Toys, with Professor Mitch Squires, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA


Sermons on the City, A Performance-Talk, Loeb Fellows, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

New Paradigms: How "We" Influence Art, Conversation with Dawoud Bey, Theaster Gates and Kehinde Wiley, Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Arts and Activism in St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago, Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, Chicago, IL

Intersections of Art and Architecture, Catalyst Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Shacks, Sheds, and Other Small Spaces, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC

The Dorchester Project, Symposium: Accidental Publics, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

To Be Pocket: Militaristic Effeminacy, The 'Hood' and Adorno’s Last Sermon, or, It’s Over When The Black Marching Band Goes Home, Our Literal Speed, Chicago, IL

Unpacking Yamaguchi, Myth, Ecstasy and the Black Church, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Why Make Art Now, Performance Studies, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Dave: Neo-Slave Narratives and Contemporary Black Identity—I made this Pot, Performance Lecture, Paris, France

Press Bibliography

Mousse Contemporary Art Magazine, “The New Revolutionary,” Issue 32 February-March 2012

Art Review, “Theaster Gates: Anthropologist, urbanist, activist—the 21st-century artist,” by Christian Viveros-Faune, Jan/Feb 2012

Art in America, “Theaster Gates,” by Lilly Wei, December 2011

Huffington Post, “Museums for Tolerance,” by Heidi Zuckerman, December 8, 2011

art 21: blog, “Creative Rebuild: Theaster Gates in Hyde Park, St. Louis,” by Francesca Wilmot, August 1, 2011

Chicago Reader, “The House that Theaster Gates Built,” by Deanna Isaacs, June 2, 2011

ARTFORUM, “Theaster Gates,” by Julia Langbein, May 2011

The New York Times, “In Grand Crossing, A House Becomes a Home for Art,” by
Rachel Cromidas, April 7, 2011

The New York Times, “Free-for-All Spirit Breezes into a Vast Art Fair,” by Roberta Smith, March 3, 2011

The International Review of African American Art, “Theaster Gates: Cultural Collisions for a New Public Space”, vol. 23 no. 2, 2010

Jettison Quarterly, “A Q&A Session with Theaster Gates”, Fall 2010

ARTslanT, “The Slant on Theaster Gates”, May 2010

Chicago Magazine, “Urban Outfitter: Fresh off the Whitney Biennial, Theaster Gates Jr. shakes up his hometown art fair”, May 2010

Time Out Chicago Magazine, “Clay Feat: Theaster Gates and a gospel choir engage a slave potter’s legacy at the Milwaukee Art Museum”, April 10, 2010

Time Out, Opening of “To Speculate Darkly, Chicago, April 15, 2010 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI, April 2010

New City, “Artist Theaster Gates Can't Stop Reaching New Heights”, March 31, 2010

Chicago Tribune, “Artists gear up for Armory: Local talent represented at international fair, Biennial exhibition in New York”, March 4, 2010

The Village Voice, “Welcome to the Mixed-Up, Dialed-Down 2010 Whitney Biennial: Bye-bye bling! The new realists win out this year”, March 2, 2010

Smart Museum of Art, “Heartland”, October 1, 2009

Bad at Sports – Contemporary Art Talk, August 2, 2009

Chicago Now – Art Talk Chicago, “Theaster Gates: Chicago’s Very Public Artist”, June 16, 2009

Proximity Contemporary Art & Culture, May 2009

White hot Magazine, “Theaster Gates @ the Museum of Contemporary Art”, February 2009

Chicago Weekly, “The Space Between: Artist Theaster Gates Bridges the Gap Between Culture and Community”, January 22, 2009

Newcity Art, “Portrait of an Artist: Theaster Gates”, January 12, 2009

The University of Chicago Chronicle, Vol. 28 No. 1, “University, South Side communities can feast on the arts with Arcopia Events”, September 25, 2008

Hyde Park Art Center, “Plate Convergence”, September 2007

Oriental Institute, Annual Report, 2007, “Chicago Artist Theaster Gates and Kelly Tsai in a performance that combines
sculpture and spoken word at West Englewood Public”, October 20, 2006

Residencies and Awards

Harpo Foundation Grant, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE, 2010

Harvard, Loeb Fellowship, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA, 2010

Artadia New York, International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency, New York, NY, 2010

Joyce Award, Chicago, IL, 2009

Artadia Award, New York, NY, 2009

Graham Foundation Architecture Award, Chicago, IL, 2010

Theaster Gates
Lathe Black Box
Wood, glass and lathe
50.19 x 53 x 6.875 inches
Theaster Gates
Stand-Ins for a Period of Wreckage 25
White concrete and porcelain
48 x 12 x 12 inches
Theaster Gates
Untitled (Flooring)
White cement, debris, flooring, 2011
35 x 35 x 3 inches