Theaster Gates

Black Chapel

Focusing on the solidarity found within the Black community, Theaster Gates’ visionary interventions transform public spaces into places of interaction and encounter.

This book brings a broad-based knowledge to the discussion of the themes addressed by Gates in ‘Black Chapel’ – issues of social representation and participation between the conflicting poles of recent German and American history as seen in the life of the exceptional African American athlete Jesse Owens.

The complete and fully illustrated record collection of Owens is made available for the first time in this publication.

The multi-part ‘Black Chapel’ installation directly responded to the architecture of Haus der Kunst’s very large Middle Hall, exposing it to a complex, politically and spiritually charged narrative.

Gates created two large pavilions and vitrines which contained a variety of sculptures, photographs and documents.  This interplay of sculpture and photography opens up a space that evokes questions about black history, spirituality and representation, and rewrites them visually.

Published after the exhibition, ‘Theaster Gates: Black Chapel’ at Haus Der Kunst, Munich (

English and German text.

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