Friday, November 27, 2020

Theaster Gates Turns the Stain of the Past Into Art

By Yinka Elujoba
“Walking Prayer,” 2018, includes bound embossed books and vintage Carnegie cast iron shelving. The backdrop is a room whose walls the artist fortified entirely with Roman bricks blackened with manganese dioxide and dye. Theaster Gates and Gagosian; Robert McKeever
Theaster Gates, a social practice installation artist based in Chicago, is turning the history of Black labor in America on its head. Growing up in Chicago, Mr. Gates sang in a Baptist church, which sparked his interest in spirituality and music. Before Japan, he lived in South Africa, receiving a degree in Religious Studies. These inspirations may have influenced his creation of a room full of glazed and fired clay vessels that draw from Eastern, Western, and African instruments. In “Black Vessel,” his first New York solo show at Gagosian on West 24th Street, he succeeds in celebrating the rugged, hard work of artisans today. [More]
Gagosian Gallery: "Black Vessel"  Through Jan. 23, Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, Manhattan,