watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series
 

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

born, raised and based in chicago, theaster gates is an artist whose work focuses mainly on racism and poverty in america. his practice is built around african-american history and culture, and on his own personal experiences growing up on the south side of chicago, where he creates a continuous circle between fine art and social progress. committed to the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through urban planning and art practices, gates stripes battered buildings from its components and transforms these elements into artworks with its proceedings directed to finance the rehabilitation of entire city blocks.

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series
images courtesy of gagosian
portrait by chris strong

 

 

in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, gagosian has created the artist spotlight series, highlighting individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. this is theaster gates’s week and the gallery is presenting a range of specially commissioned features including a video interview, articles and more, providing engaging insights into the artist’s practice.

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

 

 

‘in the wake of this moment, we are allied with theaster gates and all the artists with whom we are so privileged to be working,’ comments gagosian. ‘theaster’s upcoming exhibition was scheduled in advance of both the COVID-19 crisis and the tragic murders of george floyd, aumaud arbery, and breonna taylor. his artist’s spotlight — a gallery initiative developed in response to the constraints imposed by COVID-19 — happens to fall at this unforeseen moment.’

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

 

 

a special limited-time screening of theaster gates: art histories is now online, free for anyone to discover. composed with images from the artist’s studio, deaccessioned glass slides from the university of chicago art history department — where he’s a teacher — and other audio and visual sources, the polyphonic video work is viewable through friday, june 12 here.

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

 

 

‘I often try to reconcile the overlapping ideologies that have informed how I’ve been shaped artistically,’ comments theaster gates on the movie. ‘often these narratives are in tension. on one side, formalist constructions of modernism and postmodernism, conceptual and social art practices—and on the other, radical racial ideologies, western cultural and gender criticism, and non-western belief strategies. as a result of these collisions, something has emerged in me—not exactly synthesis, but rather a mutating, multiheaded orb that is overcome some days by the power of cultural nationalism and other days by the dadaist or western ideologies of the weimar school. these ideologies fight in my brain and on the surfaces and forms of my work. my film art histories is an attempt at making the philosophical and aesthetic battle evident.’

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

watch art histories by theaster gates on gagosian's artist spotlight series

 

 

project info:

 

name: theaster games: art histories

gallery: gagosian

type: movie

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