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CV

  • 1996 Iowa State University, B.S. Urban Planning, Ceramics
  • 1998 University of Cape Town, M.A. Fine Arts, Religious Studies
  • 2006 Iowa State University, M.S. Urban Planning, Ceramics, Religious Studie
Currently lives and works in Chicago

Solo Exhibitions

2016

  • But To Be A Poor Race, Regen Projects, Los Angeles
  • Heavy Sketches, Richard Grey Gallery, Chicago
  • How to Build a House Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto 
  • True Value, Fondazione Prada, Milan
  • Black Archive, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz

2015

  • Sanctum, Situations, Bristol
  • Freedom of Assembly, White Cube London

2013

  • Accumulated Effects of Migration, Kavi Gupta, Chicago
  • A Way of Working, The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, New York
  • My Back, My Wheel and My Will, White Cube, São Paulo; White Cube, Hong Kong
  • 13th Ballad, MCA Chicago, Chicago
  • To Make the Thing that Makes the Things, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia

2012

  • Soul Manufacturing Corporation, Locust Projects, Miami
  • My Labor Is My Protest, White Cube, London

2011

  • Theaster Gates: The Listening Room, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle , WA
  • An Epitaph for Civil Rights, LA MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
  • An Epitaph for Civil Rights and Other Domesticated Structures, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL

2010

  • To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave, the Slave Potter, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee WI
  • Dry Bones and Other Parables From the North, Brunno David Gallery and the Pulitzer Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO

2009

  • 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
  • Temple Exercises, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
  • Erogenous Wonder, An Installation, Salvage One, Chicago, IL
  • Symposium on Contemporary Painting, Performance, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL

2008

  • Yamaguchi in Residence, Experimental Station, one year, ongoing lifestyle performance, Chicago, IL
  • Dinner Intervention, Culture Community #1 meets Culture Community #2, 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

2007

  • Artists Connect, Performance Lecture, 16th Century Japanese Aesthetics, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Uprising, Voice, Violin and Cello, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
  • Yamaguchi Institute, Plate Convergence, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL Recreation of the Candy “Stow,” 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

2005

  • 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

2016

  • In Context: Africans in America, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg
  • The Color Line, Musée du quai Branly, Paris

2015

  • Contemporary Conversations, U.S. Embassy Ottawa, Ottawa
  • All the World's Futures, 56th Venice Biennial, Venice

2014

  • Ebony/Jet Studio Museum Harlem, New York
  • Artes Mundi 6, Cardiff
  • Prospect 3, New Orleans
  • Experiments with Truth: Menil Collection, Houston
  • Homeland [IN] Security: Vanishing Dreams, Dorsky Gallery, Long Island City
  • Made by Brazilians...Creative Invasion, Cidade Matarazzo, Sao Paulo
  • When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South, Studio Museum Harlem, NSU Fort Lauderdale, ICA Boston
  • More Material, Salon 94, New York
  • Living in the Material World, Kunstmuseum Krefeld, Krefeld, Galerie im Taxispalais Innsbruck

2013

  • Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Studio Museum, New York
  • We'll Make Out Better than Okay, The Charlotte Street Foundation's la Esquina Gallery, Kansas City
  • Etched in Collective History, Birmingham Museum of Art, USA
  • Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston
  • The Spirit of Utopia, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
  • Labor and Wait, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara
  • Sculpture in the Close, Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Art Basel Unlimited 2013, Basel
  • Transforming the Known: Works from The Bert Kreuk Collection, Gemeente Museum, The Hague
  • Prima Materia, Punta della Dogana, Venice

2012

  • Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, CAMH, Houston
  • IN/SITU, EXPO CHICAGO, Chicago
  • Beyond Beauty, Twig Gallery, Brussels
  • Storytelling as Craft; Chapter One, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, Kentucky
  • 12 Ballads for Huguenot House, Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany
  • Feast: Radical Hospitality and Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL
  • 40 Under 40, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
  • Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, TX
  • Beyond Beauty, TWIG Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

2011

  • Social Structures, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley, ID
  • The North Wind and the Sun, Diverseworks, Houston, TX
  • Instruments of Resurrection, Roots & Culture, Chicago, IL

2010

  • Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism Inspired Contemporary Art, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, NY
  • Hand+Made Contemporary: Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Toward a Legendary Black Clay
  • Superhero, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
  • Whitney Biennial 2010, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

2009

  • 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 Fair, Miami Basel, Shoe Shine Stands and other archetypal structures of Blackness, Miami, FL

2008

  • 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

2007

  • Storied Toy: The Emotional and Imaginative Relationship Between a Boy and His Toys (plus a few other things), with Professor Mitch Squires, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Lectures

2016

  • “The Sackler Lecture 2016 – Theaster Gates”, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2015

  • TED: Creative Ignition, Vancouver
  • PUBLIC Symposioum, Perth
  • Learning from Roofers, Tate Modern, London

2014

  • "An Analog but Very Important Conversation", deFine ART, SCAD, Savannah

2013

  •  Theaster Gates: A Way of Working Sears Crosstown, Memphis, TN
  • 12 Ballads for Huguenot House Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL
  • Rapp Lecture in Contemporary Art: Theaster Gates Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
  • Theaster Gates: A Way of Working Vera List Arts Center, New York, NY
  • One State Together in the Arts Conference. Quad Cities, IL
  • Thought Leadership Speaker Series Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  •  MPC Think & Drink. Metropolitan Planning Council, Chicago, IL
  • Artist Talk: Theaster Gates with David Levin and Hamza Walker. MCA Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • To Make the Thing that Makes the Thing: 16th Annual Benesse Lecture with Theaster Gates. Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
  • Current Perspectives Lecture Series. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
  •  I Believe in Places. Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE
  • Architecture Lecture: Theaster Gates. University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, MI
  • TEDx UNC: Creating Heat - The Artist as Catalyst. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  •  Soul Manufacturing Corporation: To make the Thing that Makes the Things. Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2012

  • Kinetic: Conversations in Contemporary Art. American University, Washington D.C.
  • A Story About Space: Public Lecture with Theaster Gates. Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
  • My Labor is My Protest / Artist Agency in the Re-Creation of Space. Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, MD

2011

  • SAM Talks: Theaster Gates and The Listening Room. Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
  • Artist Talk: Theaster Gates. California College of the Arts SF, San Francisco, CA
  • Featured Artists Lecture Series: Theaster Gates. Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO
  • 7 Projects. Arche Works, Chicago, IL
  • Artist Lecture. The Armory Show, New York, NY

2010

  • To Speculate Darkly by Theaster Gates. Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
  • 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

2009

  • “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

2008

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

Projects and Residencies

  • Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2015
  • Retreat, EXPO Chicago, 2014
  • The Black Monastic, Museu Serralves, Porto, September 2014
  • Loeb Fellowship, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2010-2011
  • Cosmology of Yard, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, February 2010
  • Pushing the Archive, Art History Archive and a Mover’s Uniform, a performance at the Armory, New York, NY, March 2010
  • Resurrecting Dave, Solo Exhibition, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, April 2010
  • Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Toward a Legendary Black Clay Superhero, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX, May 2010
  • Feast, An Exhibition of Radical Hospitality, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL, 2011
  • John Michael Kohler Arts in Industry Residency, Sheboygan Falls, WI, January 2010 Gestures of Resistance, A residency at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR, May 2010
  • Artadia New York, International Studio and Curatorial Program Residency, New York, NY, July 2010

Awards

  • Artes Mundi, 2015
  • Creative Capital Grant, New York, NY, 2012
  • 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, 2009