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Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates

A Clay Sermon (Pre-Order, Feb 4 2025)

Theaster Gates
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The artist as activist, archivist, pedagogue, urban planner and maker: on the multifarious activities of Theaster Gates

This publication accompanies a major new Theaster Gates exhibition at London's Whitechapel Gallery, focusing on his clay-based work. The transformation of clay--from geological substance into utilitarian and artistic material--is the basis for much of Gates' art and a powerful metaphor for his socially engaged work. Using his hands and his imagination, Gates reworks and revitalizes found objects, musical traditions, archive and library holdings and derelict buildings, giving them new form, meaning and purpose.

Fully illustrated with examples of pottery, sculptures, installations, films and archive materials, the book also documents a new film by Gates and features essays from leading craft historians and writers. This in-depth exploration of Gates' work is especially timely as a new generation seeks to synthesize making, identity and activism.


Theaster Gates (born 1973) lives and works in Chicago, and is a professor at the University of Chicago. He has had solo shows at Gagosian (2020) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2013). His work can be found in public collections worldwide, including the Menil Collection, Houston; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Tate, London; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


  • Publisher: ‎Whitechapel Gallery (June 25, 2024)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Hardcover: ‎200 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎0854882960
  • ISBN-13: ‎9780854882960
  • Item Weight: ‎2.5 pounds
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