Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces

Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces

New Museum

Theaster Gates, A Heavenly Chord, 2022. Leslie speakers, Hammond B3 Organ, and sound, dimensions variable. © Theaster Gates. Courtesy of Theaster Gates. Photo: Jim Prinz Photography. 

November 10, 2022
Theaster Gates
Young Lords and Their Traces
November 10, 2022–February 5, 2023
New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
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Opening November 10, 2022, the New Museum will present the first American museum survey exhibition devoted to Theaster Gates, encompassing the full range of the artist’s practice across a variety of media creating communal spaces for preservation, remembrance, and exchange. This landmark exhibition will be accompanied by a presentation of newly commissioned works by Vivian Caccuri and Miles Greenberg exploring the relationship between bodies and sound waves. 

Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces
November 10, 2022–February 5, 2023
New Museum Floors 2–4 
More information

Taking place across three floors of the museum, this exhibition will encapsulate the full range of Theaster Gates’ artistic activities, featuring artworks produced over the past twenty years and site-specific environments created especially for this presentation. Gates has titled the exhibition Young Lords and Their Traces in honor of the radical thinkers who have shaped his home city of Chicago and America as a whole. For Gates, collective forms of knowledge are built across objects, images, sounds, movements, and most importantly, through the relationships between people. This survey exhibition will comprise a choreography of works including paintings, sculptures, videos, performances, and archival collections that work together to memorialize both heroic figures and more humble, everyday icons. Gates’ elevation of these quieter sources of knowledge, and his assertion that collecting and archiving are forms not only of preservation but also of devotion and remembrance, have made his work reverberate both locally and internationally. 

Through Young Lords and Their Traces, Gates will reimagine the function of a museum as a space for personal histories and spiritual convocations. As part of the expansive exhibition, one entire floor of the New Museum will be transformed into a kind of personal museum, gathering artworks, artifacts, and mementos connected to influential figures in Gates’ life and career who have passed away in recent years: curator Okwui Enwezor, writer bell hooks, and Gates’ own father, among others. While tinged with a sense of loss, Gates’ recent work creates a network of intellectual and aesthetic affinities across generations. The result is less a map of personal obsessions than an assembly of voices in which the viewer is invited to participate. Combining an intimate, poetic sensibility and a sense of civic commitment, Gates’ work reimagines art as a form of social sculpture that can open up new modes of collectivity and knowledge production even in the most surprising contemporary settings. 

Theaster Gates: Young Lords and Their Traces is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, and Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Senior Curator, with Madeline Weisburg, Curatorial Assistant. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog co-published by the New Museum and Phaidon featuring new essays by Jessica Bell Brown, Gary Carrion-Murayari, Ryan Dohoney, Coco Fusco, and Dieter Roelstraete, and an interview between Theaster Gates and Massimiliano Gioni.

Vivian Caccuri and Miles Greenberg: The Shadow of Spring
November 10, 2022–February 5, 2023
New Museum Lobby Gallery
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Artists Vivian Caccuri and Miles Greenberg, based respectively in Rio de Janeiro and New York/Reykjavík, will collaborate for the first time on an exhibition designed for the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery. The Shadow of Spring investigates the phenomenon of vibration and its ability to trigger collective transformative experiences, featuring newly commissioned works developed separately and in collaboration across sculpture, embroidery, and sound.

Greenberg, known for his emotive durational performances, will present two newly commissioned sculptures developed from 3D scans of his own body taken during Fountain I, a seven hour-long performance from 2022. The abstracted sculptures created through this process function as fountains pouring water into pools bordered by volcanic stones staggered across the gallery. On opposite sides of the space, Caccuri’s large-scale installations combine sound system and embroidery works. Her hand-embroidered works depict abstracted scenes of dancers—echoing the shapes of Greenberg’s sculptures—and are stretched within a frame of hi-fi speakers. The two sets of thematically related works are further connected by a new sound piece jointly created by Caccuri and Greenberg, enveloping the audience in an experience of spatial reorientation. Inspired by how different rhythms and frequencies can affect group dynamics in spaces such as dancefloors, sex clubs, religious temples, and art spaces, through The Shadow of Spring Caccuri and Greenberg together investigate the multifaceted relationships between bodies and sound waves.

Vivian Caccuri and Miles Greenberg: The Shadow of Spring is curated by Bernardo Mosqueira, ISLAA Curatorial Fellow.

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New Museum
November 10, 2022

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