In a month, the 2018 Nasher Prize-winner Theaster Gates will be in Dallas to participate in a gala dinner, receive the award and join a free town hall discussion (you need to register in advance) about his ground-breaking artistic approaches. Gates is the first American and the first African-American to win the Nasher, the richest, international prize in sculpture.
Gates call himself a ‘full-time artist, a full-time urban planner and a full-time preacher”: He’s incorporated discarded, repurposed materials into urban planning projects directed at historical issues like slavery, industrial exploitation and the civil rights movement. He’s rebuilt African-American cinemas, turning them into cultural institutions for the neglected community of the South Side of Chicago. The 44-year-old Gates has also used performance and conceptual art to create such things as a soul food dinner party as well as making sculptures out of fire hoses and old issues of ‘Ebony’ magazine. (Above is ‘Raising Goliath’ from 2012 – which includes a 1967 Ford fire truck.) And as part of the events surrounding the Nasher Prize, the center will also hold a graduate symposium.
Check out the video above for background on the prize, how it’s chosen, the thinking behind it. And check out our related website devoted entirely to the Nasher Prize as we post more videos in the coming weeks about Gates and his artworks.