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Theaster Gates at Whitechapel Gallery

29 September 2021 to 9 January 2022


Whitechapel Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Serpentine are incredibly excited to jointly announce a multi-venue presentation dedicated to artist Theaster Gate’s (b.1973, USA) clay practice for 2021-22. The programme for Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon will feature a major solo exhibition of the artist’s clay-based work, collection displays and new commissions. This outstanding collab is led by Whitechapel Gallery and it will open on September 29th ’21.

The exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery will begin with a survey of the artist’s clay works, from examples of his early ceramic production to ‘Afro-Mingei’ sculptures and large vessels, alongside examples by those who have shapes Gate’s approach towards clay. They include David Drake, an enslaved African American potter who worked on a plantation in South Carolina. Drake wrote poems and signed his stoneware pots when literacy among enslaved people was outlawed. Theaster Gates: A Clay Sermon further includes a new film by Gates and his most recent body of work: large stoneware vessels installed on custom-made plinths of hand-milled wood and stone.

Lydia Yee, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery said“Clay has been foundational to Theaster Gates’s intertwined artistic and social practices, bringing together research, ideas, process and production. His interests and investigations span clay mineralogy, industrial and studio pottery production, the use of clay in teaching and community building, and the ceremonial and ritual use of ceramics.’ The exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery explores Gates's work with clay, his affinities with potters internationally and the relationships among his various studio, social engagement and urban regeneration projects.”

Tickets for the exhibition are free.