Theaster Gates wins the third annual Nasher Prize.
Theaster Gates' "My Labor is My Protest" performance, 2012, at London's White Cube (Photo by Sara Pooley)
Theaster Gates' "Civil Tapestry (High Yellow)" (Photo courtesy Sara Pooley, Todd-White Art Photography, and Benjamin Westoby)
Theaster Gates' "Dorchester Projects," 2009
Theaster Gates' "Migration Rickshaw for Sleeping, Playing, and Building," 2013, installation view at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (Photo by Sara Pooley)
Theaster Gates' "Raising Goliath," 2012, 1967 Ford fire truck, magazines, tar bucket, mop, steel, and wire (Photo by Ben Westoby)
Theaster Gates and Kouichi Ohara with Gates' "Soul Manufacturing Corporation" (Photo courtesy Ginger White Photography/White Cube Gallery)
Theaster Gates' "Tar Baby II," 2016, styrofoam, Bondo, tar coloring, vinyl foil, fabric (Photo by Markus Tretter)
Theaster Gates' "Soul Temple" from the series Tea Shack, 2008 (Photo by Sara Pooley)
For the third year in a row, the top brass of the Dallas art world assembled at The Warehouse, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky’s private collection space, for the imminent reveal of the next Nasher Prize Laureate.
Established in 2015, the Nasher Prize is a prestigious international award presented annually to a living artist who has made a significant impact on our understanding of contemporary sculpture.
This year’s recipient is Theaster Gates, a Chicago-based sculptor who wins $100,000 and an award designed by Renzo Piano — architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center.
French sculptor Pierre Huyghe won the Nasher Prize last year; Colombian-born artist Doris Salcedo was the first honoree. Recipients are selected by a jury of museum directors, curators, artists, and art historians chosen by the Nasher’s director, Jeremy Strick.
Gates is known for his socially engaging work ranging from performance art to converting old buildings into new sculpture. He also trained as a potter, and his art draws on deeply personal experiences. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. among many others.
Says Strick of Gates’ selection: “[The jury] devoted close attention to over 100 artists from 25 countries and six continents. [Gates’] work itself embraces a range of practices, starting with and returning to material and the place where it was found. [His] work emerges from and responds to a place in North America, a neighborhood, in the great city where the artist grew up.”
The Nasher Prize programming has grown significantly since its inception two years ago. “The Nasher Prize Dialogues series now includes a graduate symposium about the work of the laureate, which brings students and a keynote speaker from around the world to Dallas to present scholarly work on the recipient of the prize,” Strick says.
Theaster Gates will be honored at the black-tie Nasher Prize Gala on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Nasher Sculpture Center.