Chicago artist Theaster Gates, Director of Arts Program Development in the Office of the Provost, is currently featured in the 2010 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Gates has transformed the Whitney’s Sculpture Court into a dynamic installation space that functions as a communal gathering place for performances, social engagement, and contemplation. Over the next six weeks four artists will occupy this new space as they add “commentary, bling, and acts of sincerity all over the wood-clad Cosmos.”
Gates has also been busy preparing another exhibition, opening at the Milwaukee Art Museum on April 16, 2010, that explores the history and legacy of Dave Drake (also known as Dave the Potter).
From the Milwaukee Art Museum:
A slave in antebellum South Carolina, Drake produced stoneware pottery and famously adorned his pots with poetic couplets. Though historians and art historians have explored Drake’s career in detail, Gates is the first artist to reinterpret his work and to make it pertinent to a broader set of concerns about the place of labor and craft in present-day America. The exhibition’s provocative installation, titled To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave the Potter, features a gospel choir that engages the enigmatic, emotional works of poetry found on Drake’s pots.