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Gagosian has directed its latest Artist Spotlight on Theaster Gates. A recent initiative launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the spotlight features an artist whose exhibitions have been affected by the virus, highlighting their practice and current projects, along with a special sale of a recent work, which is available for 48 hours only.
Featured on the site, Gates’s 2019 work A Mangled Passing was available for purchase over the weekend. Building on the artist’s “Civil Tapestry” series, the piece was created from a decommissioned fire hose and a steel cage, alluding to the force that was used against peaceful protesters in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.
“The intent of the “Civil Tapestries” is seduction, not guilt,” said Gates. “The making of these intentionally precise, intentionally seductive things produces offcuts: the nozzles of the hoses feel like some sort of shrapnel. Fire hoses that were used to do great things could actually be some of the most demeaning and horrific weapons used in American history. The caged hose works could be the evidence of that past.”
Encompassing a wide variety of media like experimental sound, music, architecture, object making, painting, sculpting, performance, and more, Gates’s practice is deeply rooted in African American histories and cultures, and often explores the concept of transformation through art and culture.
Following the postponement of “Black Chapel” at Munich’s Haus der Kunst (which has been reopened and extended to August 16), Gates is now preparing for “Black Vessel,” which is due to open this fall at Gagosian’s New York location. Below, join Gates in his studio as he prepares for the upcoming exhibition.