Los Angeles

View of “Theaster Gates,” 2017. Photo: Brian Forrest.

View of “Theaster Gates,” 2017. Photo: Brian Forrest.

Theaster Gates

Regen Projects

View of “Theaster Gates,” 2017. Photo: Brian Forrest.

For his first show at Regen Projects, “But to Be a Poor Race,” Theaster Gates installed within the gallery’s many rooms a sampling of clay vessels, paintings bandaged with hoses from decommissioned firehouses, wall panels studded with narrow floorboards sourced from a nearby Chicago public school gym assemblages of pelts, appropriations of African reliquary objects, found objects, and the single-channel video My country tis of thee, 2016. The video featured documentation of Gates and members of experimental music ensemble the Black Monks of Mississippi riffing on the US national anthem, the audio from which washed over the adjacent spaces. While the survey was seemingly comprehensive, nothing in the show dated prior to 2015, and the contemporaneity of its works ultimately undermined any retrospective function, emphasizing instead the vastness of Gates’s project, which the present

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