The Chicago-based artist and activist Theaster Gates will current reveals and tasks in London on the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Serpentine Galleries over the subsequent yr.
As a part of an formidable initiative entitled The Query of Clay, Gates will design the Serpentine Pavilion positioned in Kensington Gardens in 2022, certainly one of London’s most necessary annual structure commissions. Earlier recipients embrace Zaha Hadid, Frida Escobedo and the South African observe Counterspace, which has designed this yr’s pavilion.
In the meantime, the artist will present ceramic objects, sculptures, installations, movie and studio supplies from the previous 20 years, together with his current Afro-Mingei works, in an exhibition on the Whitechapel Gallery entitled Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon (29 September-9 January 2022). Works by different potters, together with the enslaved African American David Drake, will even be included.
“Working in partnership with the V&A and drawing from different private and non-private collections, Gates has chosen a lot of historic objects for his Whitechapel Gallery exhibition that talk to the importance of ceramics in international commerce, colonial enlargement, slavery and abolitionism within the UK,” says a press release.
The multi-part presentation is knowledgeable by Gates’ current expertise as a V&A Analysis Institute/V&A East Emeritus Fellow. The artist not too long ago labored on the Brickfield Newham neighborhood mission at V&A East—the South Kensington museum’s deliberate outpost in Stratford—which gave residents round Newham in East London the possibility to make and fireplace their very own bricks in a recreated kiln at The Manufacturing unit Challenge within the Royal Docks.
Throughout his V&A Fellowship, Gates researched the museum’s ceramics assortment with the “response being exhibited as a part of the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition, and within the ceramics galleries at V&A South Kensington [this autumn]”, provides the mission assertion. His analysis on the V&A has targeted on the melding of Japanese and Western practices and “political histories inside craft”. White Dice will even current a solo exhibition by Gates this yr at Mason’s Yard, London (17 September-23 October).
Earlier this yr, Gates informed Ceramics Month-to-month journal: “Clay made me and is endlessly the basis of my inventive curiosity, however I don’t really feel restricted by any origin story to work solely inside the confines of my origins. Blackness, clay, immateriality, and house are all launching pads that encourage superior observe, reflection, trial, and iteration. I’m practising acts of creation.”
In 2006, Gates made his house in a former confectionery retailer on South Dorchester Avenue within the coronary heart of Higher Grand Crossing, certainly one of Chicago’s most disadvantaged areas. In 2009 he bought the neighbouring constructing, which turned often called the Archive Home, house to 14,000 books from the previous Prairie Avenue Bookshop. Reconstructed utilizing discarded assets from throughout the town, it fulfils his Rebuild Basis’s remit of regeneration by way of “particular person empowerment and neighborhood engagement”.