Theaster Gates

Portrait of Artist Theaster Gates
Artist Bio

Theaster Gates

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Theaster Gates (b. 1973, Chicago, IL) is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist internationally renowned for his socially activated art practice and dynamic community building projects. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, Gates creates work that focuses on space theory, land development, sculpture, and performance.

At the heart of Gates’ practice lies the possibility of “life within things”. Projects like the Rebuild Foundation and Stony Island Arts Bank serve to redeem and recirculate art world capital, providing accessible entry points for youth and community members on Chicago’s Southside. In all aspects of his work, Gates contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist.

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