Theaster Gates Splits Artes Mundi Prize Winnings with Nominees

Theaster Gates has won the sixth Artes Mundi award, which comes with a £40,000 cash prize, the largest for the arts in the UK. The announcement was made last night during a ceremony at Cardiff’s National Museum, in Wales. Chicago-based Gates triumphed over a roster of nine illustrious nominees, including Sanja Iveković, Omer Fast, Sharon Lockhart, Renzo Martens, Renata Lucas, Carlos Bunga, Karen Mirza & Brad Butler, and Ragnar Kjartansson.

But, in an unusual token of generosity and respect for his fellow nominees, Gates has announced that will share the hefty cash prize with all of them.

Originally trained as an urban planner, Gates rose to prominence in the last decade thanks to his large-scale urban renewal projects in depressed areas of the US (see Apply to Live in Theaster Gates’ Chicago Artist Housing Project and Theaster Gates-Commissioned Mural Painted Over in Chicago). Gates finances these urban interventions with the sale of his artworks in commercial galleries, such as White Cube or Kavi Gupta.

Gates’ winning installation, entitled A Complicated Relationship between Heaven and Earth, or When We Believe (2014), comprises a large array of symbolic objects from all over the world, and seeks to question the dominance of Christian ideology in the western world.

The Artes Mundi prize was founded in 2002 by the Welsh artist William Wilkins and is awarded every two years. By some estimations, Artes Mundi is beginning to eclipse the UK-centric, less well-endowed Turner Prize (see Is the Turner Prize Just a Publicity Machine? JJ Charlesworth Takes on the Tate and Turner Prize: Confused Critics Demand Relevance!).

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In