Artist and urban planner Theaster Gates will give a public lecture, “Du Bois: The Early Social Practitioner,” on Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. in 104 Thompson Hall.
Gates has developed an expanded practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics. Founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation, Gates is currently director of arts and public life at the University of Chicago.
Gates’ training as an urban planner and sculptor, and subsequent time spent studying clay, has given him a keen awareness of the poetics of production and systems of organizing. Playing with these poetic and systematic interests, Gates has assembled gospel choirs, formed temporary unions, and used systems of mass production as a way of underscoring the need that industry has for the body.
In 2012, Gates was awarded the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, honored by the Wall Street Journal as Arts Innovator of the Year, received a Creative Time Global Residency Fellowship, and was named the USA Kippy Fellow 2012. Gates has also received awards and grants from Creative Capital, the Joyce Foundation, Graham Foundation, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Artadia. He is represented by Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago and White Cube in London.
The lecture is part of the programming for the exhibition “Du Bois in Our Time” at the University Museum of Contemporary Art.