Lecture: Formal Forms


Thursday, November 2, 2017, 6:00pm


Menschel Hall, Lower Level, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St

Using the poetic sermon, artist Theaster Gates will share a monologue on the creation of temporary and semi-permanent structures as a necessary part of his practice.

Presented by: Harvard Art Museums
Admission: Free admission, but limited seating is available. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance. One ticket per person.
Following his talk, Gates will be in conversation with Sarah Lewis, assistant professor of history of art and architecture and African American studies at Harvard.
Museum Hours: Open daily 10am–5pm. See website for museum admission. 
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Whether it is the creation of intellectual property entities or joint ventures that allow shared ideation and ensure long-term commitments to a project, Gates will unpack the messy work associated with doing large city projects and administratively complicated works of “art.”

Born in 1973, Theaster Gates lives and works in his hometown of Chicago. His art focuses on space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, he redeems spaces that have been left behind and brings the conversation of space to the forefront of contemporary art practice.

Known for his recirculation of art-world capital, Gates creates work centered on the possibility of the “life within things.” He smartly upturns art values, land values, and human values. In all aspects of his practice 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.