CHINA CABINET

THEASTER GATES at PRADA RONG ZHAI SHANGHAI


Theaster Gates. Corpus, 2021. High fired stoneware with glaze. © Theaster Gates. Image: Bobby Rogers. Courtesy the artist and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
From March 11, 2021 until May 23, 2021
Prada presents “China Cabinet”, an exhibition project by artist Theaster Gates, with the support of Fondazione Prada. It will be on view from 11 March to 23 May 2021 at Prada Rong Zhai, a 1918 historic residence in Shanghai restored by Prada and reopened in October 2017.
Invited to reimagine the spaces of Prada Rong Zhai in an unprecedented way, Theaster Gates shows his ceramics body of work and reveals the link that exists between this activity as a ceramist and those as a visual artist, a performer, a professor, a urban planner and a community activist. For “China Cabinet”, Gates conceived a three-chapter story that unfolds in the rooms on the building’s first floor. Over the course of this narrative, the setting changes and the artist’s role evolves from guest to ghost to host. From being the object of an exhibition that examines the roots of his creative process, he becomes a subject who reveals the economic potential and the production context of his work. He then until assumes the role of a possible new host of Prada Rong Zhai.
Theaster Gates lives and works in Chicago, US. He creates work that focuses on space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, Gates redeems spaces that have been left behind. Gates smartly upturns art values, land values, and human values. In all aspects of his work, he contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist.
 
Theaster Gates. Rickshaw for Black Bricks, 2013. © Theaster Gates. Image: Marc Tatti Courtesy the artist
Theaster Gates. A portion of the Team Lives in the Heavens, 2016 glazed clay. Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani. Courtesy Fondazione Prada
Theaster Gates. A portion of the Team Lives in the Heavens, 2016 glazed clay. Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani. Courtesy Fondazione Prada
Theaster Gates. A portion of the Team Lives in the Heavens, 2016 glazed clay. Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani. Courtesy Fondazione Prada
Theaster Gates. Black Tea and World Gifts, 2020. Steel, bound Jet volumes, ceramic objects. © Theaster Gates. Image: Courtesy the artist
Theaster Gates. For consideration of the dirty work and prayer, 2016 Plaster, glazed clay and graphite. © Theaster Gates. Courtesy the artist and White Cube
Theaster Gates. With oxides and city grindings, 2015-2016. Plaster, glazed clay and graphite. © Theaster Gates. Courtesy the artist and White Cube
Theaster Gates. Mask with Hole in its Head, 2018 Ceramic. © Theaster Gates. Image: Theo Christelis Courtesy the artist and White Cube
Theaster Gates. Corpus, 2021. High fired stoneware with glaze. © Theaster Gates. Image: Bobby Rogers. Courtesy the artist and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Theaster Gates. Denim Cross with Plinth for Sacred Gifts, 2019 Denim, wood and ingot. © Theaster Gates. Image: Joshua White. Courtesy the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Theaster Gates. Scholars stone on American Pine Corbels, 2019 Wood and polished stone. © Theaster Gates. Image: Theo Christelis Courtesy the artist and White Cube
Theaster Gates. Rickshaw for Fossilized Soul Wares, 2012. Wood, cast black concrete, clay, and plastic. © Theaster Gates. Courtesy the artist and White Cube.
Theaster Gates. Photo Ugo Dalla Porta