Theaster Gates: Assembly Hall at the Walker Art Center

Minneapolis | 5 September 2019–12 January 2020

Tim Marlow, artistic director for London's Royal Academy of Arts, chooses the best exhibitions to see this month, presented by Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

T he first major US exhibition of acclaimed American social practice installation artist, Theaster Gates, is to take place at The Walker Art Center.

Theaster Gates. © the artist. Photograph © Sara Pooley. Courtesy White Cube.

Gates’s multi-disciplinary practice, which ranges from sculpture and installation to performance and architectural interventions, often looks to find the "life within things." In pursuit of this, the artist reclaims and redeems abandoned buildings in Chicago’s South Side, re-housing within them objects salvaged from libraries, archives, and collections which have turned them aside. This process bestows new purpose and meaning upon the items and spaces – in essence, new life.

Theaster Gates, Stony Island Arts Bank, 2012 onwards. © Theaster Gates. Photograph © Tom Harris. Courtesy White Cube.

Now, many of these artefacts, including Gates’s vast collections and studio environment, will be housed at the Walker Art Center, transforming four rooms into immersive works of art. The extraordinary installation will include glass lantern slides, books, periodicals, furniture, and other ephemera.

Theaster Gates, Black Vessel for a Saint in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 2017. Photograph Gene Pittman, courtesy Walker Art Center.

Theaster Gates: Assembly Hall will be on view from 5 September at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and will run until 12 January 2020.

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