Theaster Gates Joins Regen Projects

It's a big move for the Chicago-based artist.

Theaster Gates outside "Sanctum" in Bristol, in 2015
Photo: Max McClure

Regen Projects in Los Angeles has started representing multidisciplinary artist Theaster Gates, marking a new phase for the Chicago native. Gates has lacked US gallery representation since 2012.

In a statement posted on the gallery’s website, dealer Shaun Caley Regen stated, “I have long admired Theaster’s expansive practice as well as his commitment and ability to create dialogue. The rigor, intelligence, and communicability of his artwork combine to make a profoundly relevant and topical oeuvre. We are proud to support his endeavors and help him continue to realize his significant work.”

Although Gates has lacked US gallery representation, it has not slowed him down, especially since he has been represented by White Cube in London for the past few years. “There are things that could happen in the world if someone would just make them happen, willing them into existence,” Gates told BOMB magazine. “I love this idea.”

The artist is the recent recipient of the Kurt Schwitters Prize, which will land him a show at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover next year, following his solo debut at Regen Projects.

Theaster Gates' Sanctum, Photo: Max McClure

Theaster Gates’ Sanctum. Courtesy of Max McClure.

Gates works with ceramics, sculpture, painting, film, and performance, bridging a gap between creative ideas and civic duties. The Chicago-based artist’s work is steeped in the idea of community, space, and art. He works with found materials not just to create an object to be looked at but to create a space to be activated.

In his most recent public project Sanctum (2015), Gates used found objects to create a temporary structure inside the ruins of a 14th century church, in Bristol. He then encouraged community members, musicians, and artist to enjoy the space.

Blurring the lines between art and life, Gates is the founder of non-profit Rebuild Foundation, which works with cultural institutions in under-resourced communities on the South Side of Chicago. The foundation creates spaces for community engagement, similar to the artist’s actions inside the ruins of the church.

Gates’ solo show at Regen Projects will open January 14, 2017.

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