Theaster Gates (b. 1973) is one of the world’s most influential living artists. In Theaster Gates: Amalgam, the artist explores the complex and interweaving issues of race, territory, and inequality in the United States.
The exhibition takes the history of Malaga as its point of departure. During the 19th century, this small island off the coast of Maine, USA, was home to an ethnically-mixed community. In 1912, on the orders of the state governor, Malaga's inhabitants were forcibly removed to the mainland. They were offered no housing, jobs or support.
Amalgam presents sculpture, installation, film and dance that respond to this history. Highlights include a new film, Dance of Malaga 2019, which features the choreography of acclaimed American dancer, Kyle Abraham. Gates’s musical collective, The Black Monks provide the film’s score. Their blues and gospel-inspired sound can be heard throughout the exhibition, continuing into an immersive ‘forest’ installation.
Theaster Gates is a socially engaged artist living and working in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career studying urban planning, which continues to influence his work. He is best known for his projects in South Side, Chicago, where he has redeveloped abandoned buildings for community use. Reminiscent of the ongoing work in the Granby area of Liverpool, Gates shows how art can transform places and improve the lives of the people who live there.
The is Theaster Gates' first major UK exhibition.