Theaster Gates received his BS from Iowa State University (1996), his MA from the University of Cape Town (1998), and his MS from Iowa State University (2006). He is currently Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago, and is founder of Rebuild Foundation.

His solo exhibitions include 13th Ballad, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2013); Things, Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia (2012); Theaster Gates: Soul Manufacturing Corporation, Locust Projects, Miami (2012); My Labor Is My Protest, White Cube, London (2012); To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave, the Slave Potter, Milwaukee Art Museum (2010); Dry Bones and Other Parables from the North, Brunno David Gallery and the Pulitzer Museum of Art, St. Louis (2010); Holiness in Three Parts, Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis (2009); Temple Exercises, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2009); Yamaguchi Institute, Plate Convergence, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (2007); Mississippi Houses, Inax Museums, Tokoname, Japan (2005); and Theaster Gates, Yakimono Ceramics Exhibition, Tokoname, Japan (2005). His performances include Black Monks of Mississippi, South Side Community Art Center, Chicago (2009), and Black Monks and the Gospel of Black, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2008).

Group exhibitions featuring Gates’s work include When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014); Prospect.3: Notes for Now, Prospect New Orleans (2014); Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany, where he presented 12 Ballads for the Huguenot House (2012); Feast: Radical Hospitality and Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago (2012); Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-Inspired Contemporary Art, Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2010); Cosmology of the Yard, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2010).