Theaster Gates: Black Madonna

Gates, Theaster



A clothbound compendium of Theaster Gates’ interdisciplinary exploration of artistic and religious representations of the Black Madonnas

For his Kuntsmuseum Basel exhibition, Chicago-based multiartist Theaster Gates (born 1973) interrogates the mainstream art world’s Eurocentrism through a multi-venue, multimedia exploration of the figure of the Black Madonna.

A self-described “collector of collections,” Gates draws upon his vast arsenal of interdisciplinary talents and personal archives to highlight the Black Madonna’s presence in religion and art history. Including a printing workshop and performances by the artist’s band, the Black Monks, this many-faceted program is as much a site of creation and conversation as it is one of critical engagement.

This clothbound publication serves as an accompaniment to the exhibition and delves into Gates’ methods, featuring pictorial reportage and new essays that highlight a number of complexities related to spirituality, Black identity, and artistic and political agency.

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