Theaster Gates was born in 1973 in Chicago, where he lives and works. He has exhibited widely, including group shows such as The Whitney Biennial, New York (2010), dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012), The Spirit of Utopia at Whitechapel, London (2013), and Studio Museum’s When Stars Collide in New York (2014). Solo exhibitions include To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave, the Slave Potter at Milwaukee Art Museum (2010), Seattle Art Museum (2011), MCA Chicago (2013), and The Black Monastic residency at Museu Serralves, Porto (2014).
In 2013, Gates was awarded the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, and he has since won the Artes Mundi 6 prize (2015). Gates is also the founder of the non-profit Rebuild Foundation and currently Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago. He is currently represented by Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA.