Text | Korey Huyler
Published | Modern Luxury CS, May 2013
Theaster Gates, possibly the most famous artist in Chicago right now, has had a very big past 12 months: He was one of Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40, is currently spearheading the 12 Ballads for Huguenot House in both Chicago and Kassel, Germany, and has been focusing on bringing attention to urban planning, religious space and craft – across both countries. He is also working on 13th Ballad, an extension of the artist’s Huguenot House exhibit. Gates, a lifelong Chicagoan, is committed to the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through combining urban planning and art practices. For this new exhibit at the MCA Chicago, Gates created a large-scale installation in the atrium of the MCA that comprises objects and materials for the Huguenot House in Germany, along with a; monumental double-cross sculpture and carved wooden pews that suggest that art museums, like churches, are sites of pilgrimage and thoughtful contemplation. Gates’ art – which has been showcased at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2010 Biennial exhibition and at dOCUMENTA, a German art show—goes beyond paint on canvas. He combines craft, history and music to recreate the way we think about space. (Very cool and innovative, indeed.) Some of our favorite Gates topics include politics, education, business, culture, science/technology, health and a variety of others. 13 Ballad runs May 18 to October 6. It will be accompanied at the MCA by performances on June 22, August 11 and September 22.