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Press Release

Black Madonna - Exhibitions - Theaster Gates

Black Madonna, Kunstmuseum Basel, 2018

In his exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel, which will be spread out across two of the museum’s venues, Gates will explore the cult of the Black Madonna, examining both its significance in the history of religion and its aesthetic and metaphorical tenor.

The presentation at the Kunstmuseum Basel | new building will showcase his work, some of it created specifically for the occasion. He will also build a shrine of sorts to the Black Madonna that will enter into a critical dialogue with the venue’s architecture and the art in the collections. The making of objects, Gates argues, is always also a social intervention, since the spheres of artistic and political agency are inextricably interconnected. By contrast, the installation at the Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart will turn the museum space into a site of creative production. The artist will set up a temporary sound studio and printing workshop, where he will work with his personal archives, with a focus on the photography archives of Ebony and Jet Magazine, two iconic publications that have been vital media of black culture in America.