Theaster Gates, top name in contemporary art, is the newest Tapio Wirkkala rut Bryk Award recipient
Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates is one of the most important names in contemporary art. Gates’s practice encompasses a wide range of art forms from performance and painting to sculptures. The award recipient was selected by artist Sasha Huber and architect Samuli Woolston, at the request of the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.
"In Theaster Gates's powerfully poetic, multifaceted art practice I am moved by the way he crafts unique, tangible worlds, vessels, and chapels of care, where he holds safe spaces for collectively celebrating and amplifying the voices of the Black community at home in the US and transatlantically, making the world a better place,” says Huber.
Gates works as a professor at the University of Chicago, and the non-profit Rebuilt Foundation he founded. Rebuilt focuses on real estate development and works actively for the benefit of the local Chicago community.
“He uses the monetary capital available in the art world to support local social capital, not in an abstract way, as is often claimed by artists, but directly, actually, and honestly,” Samuli Woolston sums up.
Gates’s work has also been widely presented outside the United States, for example at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Venice Biennale, and Documenta in Kassel. He was also seen in Helsinki when the body of work created with The Black Monks of Mississippi musical ensemble was presented at the IHME Days art festival in 2017.
The award winner will be announced on February 1, 2023 at an event starting at 5 p.m. (EET) at Helsinki City Hall. Architect Samuli Woolston and Katarina Siltavuori, chair of the board of the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation, will both be present. Sasha Huber will participate in the event via remote connection. The event is part of the main event series of the Architecture and Design Days festival at Helsinki City Hall. The event is in English.
The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Award is a tribute to high-level professionalism that develops new design thinking, to material know-how, and to an understanding of design traditions. The prize is a miniature sculpture realised according to Tapio Wirkkala's plan, made from the original rhythmic plywood donated to the Foundation.
The prize, which is usually awarded every three years, was last presented in 2019 to the German artist Hinrich Kröger. At that time, the recipient was selected by ceramist Nathalie Lautenbacher and PhD, adjunct professor Harri Kalha. The winner of the 2016 award, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, was selected by Harri Koskinen and Ilkka Suppanen.
The Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation was founded in 2003. Its aim is to cherish the internationally notable heritage of the artist-designers Tapio Wirkkala and Rut Bryk, to take care of the extensive Tapio Wirkkala - Rut Bryk collection, and to advance the field of design by supporting international discussions on its future. The Bryk Wirkkala Visible Storage was inaugurated in 2017 as part of EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition space beside the Storage currently hosts the exhibition Form curated by Juhani Pallasmaa, focusing on Wirkkala's sculptures.
Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation, assistant
+358 40 715 9406
Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation, chair of the board
+358 50 599 2510
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Nykytaiteen huippunimi Theaster Gates on uusin Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk -palkinnonsaaja1.2.2023 17:00:00 EET | Tiedote
Kolmas Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk -palkinto annetaan amerikkalaiselle taiteilijalle Theaster Gatesille. Palkinnonsaaja julkistetaan keskiviikkona 1.2.2023 osana Arkkitehtuurin ja muotoilun päivien ohjelmaa Helsingin kaupungintalolla.