50 USA Fellows Named, Including Theaster Gates, Coco Fusco, William Leavitt, Receive $50,000 Grants

Fusco. (Courtesy PMC)

The United States Artists nonprofit today announced the next 54 artists who will receive its annual USA Fellowships, which come with unrestricted grants of $50,000 each. Awardees in the field of visual art include Chicago artist Theaster Gates, New York writer and artist Luis Camnitzer and Los Angeles artist William Leavitt. Choreographer and artist Trisha Brown was among the honorees in the dance category. The full list of artists, who hail from a wide variety of disciplines, follows below. This round of funding brings USA’s total grants over its history to $17.5 million. Read More

set design

Set Piece: Artist Theaster Gates Tries Stage Design for Marc Bamuthi Joseph Project at BAM

Part of Mr. Gates's stage set. (Photo: Bethanie Hines)

Designing a stage set can be a milestone moment in an artist’s career. Think of Picasso and the Ballets Russes, or William Kentridge’s recent star turn at the Met. Now Chicago artist Theaster Gates is joining their ranks. Mr. Gates, who’s known for transforming abandoned buildings into vital cultural spaces, is collaborating with spoken-word artist and director Marc Bamuthi Joseph for a production of Mr. Joseph’s experimental theater piece Red, black & GREEN: a blues that opens in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Oct. 31. Read More


Theaster Gates Gets Approval for Transfer of Abandoned Chicago Bank for Latest Public Project


On Tuesday, while Chicago–based artist Theaster Gates was in London for Frieze and to drop in on his first solo show at White Cube, he got news that Chicago’s Community Development Commission, which reviews sales of city-owned property, approved the transfer of an abandoned bank to the company he uses to oversee some of his art projects. Mr. Gates hopes to convert it into a multi-use facility.

“This is a really important building, this bank project,” Mr. Gates told us by phone from Chicago’s Hyde Park, fresh off the plane from London. Assuming a final sign-off from Chicago’s city council goes through, he plans to renovate the building to make room for artist studios and a soul-food restaurant. It may also become home to portions of the Johnson Publishing Company editorial archive, which publishes Ebony magazine, he said. Part of that archive is now on view at White Cube through Nov. 11 as part of Mr. Gates’s show. Read More


Morning Links: ‘Embattled’ Deitch Edition

Deitch. (Patrick McMullan)

Jeffrey Deitch defends the seriousness of his exhibition program at MOCA Los Angeles. An excerpt: “‘I’m embattled,’ Deitch says in a tone more sorrowful than angry.” The museum director also says that two new “significant” trustees will join the board in the next few days. [LAT]

Arts philanthropist Martin E. Segal has died at the age of 96. “He went into the office almost every day and out on the town almost every night.” He was also married for 74 years. [NYT] Read More

Armory Week 2012

For Theaster Gates at the Armory, There’s No Sale Without Process

Courtesy Rozalia Jovanovic

“Who has access to a venture capitalist?” said the artist Theaster Gates as he wrote on a 10-foot-tall chalkboard at the booth of Chicago and Berlin dealer Kavi Gupta at the Armory Show. Mr. Gates had pulled up a yellow chair to get at higher parts of the board and wrote down, “New Forms of Philanthropy,” and underlined it dramatically. He was speaking to a man in a pinstripe suit and cordovan shoes who was looking on eagerly, but a small crowd had formed around him and it became a kind of presentation. “You do now,” someone shouted. Read More

Armory Show 2012

Theaster Gates to Hold Court at the Armory Show

Theaster Gates, 'Civil Tapestries,' 2011. (Courtesy the artist and Kavi Gupta Gallery)

Some of today’s most celebrated artists really want to spend time with you. At her 2010 Museum of Modern Art retrospective, Marina Abramovic invited visitors to sit across from her and stare. Los Angeles Dawn Kasper has installed her studio in this year’s Whitney Biennial and is chatting with guests. And now the Chicago artist Theaster Gates has decided to sit in a café at the Armory Show from March 8 to 10, speaking with all comers. Read More


Theaster Gates Joins White Cube

Theaster Gates. (Patrick McMullan)

Chicago artist Theaster Gates’ rapid, recent ascent through the art world continued today, with news that he has signed with Jay Jopling’s White Cube gallery in London. The Baer Faxt broke the news, which a rep at White Cube confirmed to Gallerist by telephone. A solo show at the gallery with Mr. Gates has not yet been set. Mr. Gates is repped by Kavi Gupta Gallery in his hometown and in Berlin. Read More