Theaster Gates’s Monument in Waiting Unveiled in Philadelphia


Above: Theaster Gates, Monument in Waiting (detail), 2020.

GRAY is pleased to announce the unveiling of Theaster Gates’s Monument in Waiting, 2020, presented by Philadelphia Contemporary, and with the support of the Forman Arts Initiative and Drexel University.

“My monument work, from Black Chapel at Serpentine to the Stony Island Arts Bank and this non-monument in Philadelphia, has me grappling with the best indicators of temporal markers. Monuments spatially and symbolically mark time and help us conjure meaning. Honoring the truths of a people or a moment is necessary soul work for the nation. I’m glad to be part of that,” Gates remarks.Comprised of reclaimed stone plinths and granite tiles devoid of a figure, Monument in Waiting evokes a dismantled public forum. The work responds to ongoing dialogue about preservation and erasure, collective memory and public scrutiny of historical figures and monuments, particularly those that reinforce systems of oppression. This tribute, like much of Gates’s work, asks viewers to reconsider the ways in which monuments are destroyed, preserved or adapted to enshrine moments and figures in our history.

Created during the turbulent summer of 2020, Monument in Waiting was first exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York and will be installed on Drexel University’s campus through Spring 2023.

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