Last week, as the streets of Chelsea were bathed in the golden light of early evening, a line wrapped around the block as creative types queued up to be admitted to the night’s hottest event. It wasn’t a restaurant or club, it was the opening of “Social Works,” a group exhibition at Gagosian’s West 24th Street gallery.
Curated by writer and newly appointed Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent, “Social Works” features art by Kenturah Davis, Theaster Gates, Titus Kaphar, Rick Lowe, Carrie Mae Weems, and others, all of whom in some way reflect on Black communities and social engagement.
“Given the last year of the pandemic and protest and the history in which Black artists operate, the work does more than just sit quietly on the wall,” Sargent told the .
Linda Goode Bryant, founder of the gallery Just Above Midtown and Project EATS, an urban farming organization, grew vegetables in the gallery and a video made in collaboration with architect Elizabeth Diller titled (2021).
Theaster Gates, meanwhile, pays homage to DJ Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of house music” and an icon of the Black and queer music scenes of the 1980s. Rick Lowe, founder of the Project Row Houses organization in Texas, presents a new series of works documenting the Tulsa Race Massacre.
See more images of the show below.