Theaster Gates wins the sixth Artes Mundi prize, splits prize

Theaster Gates. Courtesy the artist When We Believe (2014), installation view, at Artes Mundi 6, Courtesy Artes Mundi and the Artist When We Believe (2014), installation view, at Artes Mundi 6, Courtesy Artes Mundi and the Artist

Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates has been announced as the winner of the sixth Artes Mundi prize, receiving £40,000, the UK's biggest monetary prize. On accepting the prize Gates ended by saying "Lets split this mother fucker", and had promised to split the money between the other shortlisted artists Carlos Bunga, Omer Fast, Sanja Ivekovic, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sharon Lockhart, Renata Lucas, Renzo Martens, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler.

Gates was selected for his installation A Complicated Relationship between Heaven and Earth, or When We Believe (2014), which seeks to challenge a Western-centric ideology of Christianity by looking at other religious objects and traditions from diverse cultures across the globe. 

Gates has also become known for the development of large-scale arts-and-education-based urban renewal projects on the South Side of his hometown as well as in St Louis and Omaha, which he finances through the sale of his artworks.

His installation is on show through 22 February 2015 as part of the Artes Mundi exhibition, spread across National Museum Cardiff, Chapter and ffotogallery, and including works by the other nine shrortlisted artists.

22 January 2015