Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022
Courtesy of Serpentine. Image © Iwan Baan

Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022 

Theaster Gates

YEAR
2022

PHOTOGRAPHS
Iwan Baan

SERPENTINE PAVILION HEADLINE PARTNER
Goldman Sachs

SUPPORTING PARTNERS
Therme Group, Luma Foundation,

RESPONSIBLE MATERIALS ADVISOR
Design For Freedom By Grace Farms

TECHNICAL CONSULTANT
David Glover

SUPPORTER CIRCLE
Gagosian, Regen Projects, White Cube,

GOLD SPONSOR
Weil

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Hans Ulrich Obrist

CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Bettina Korek

LOCATION
London, United Kingdom

TECHNICAL ADVISOR
Aecom

CATEGORY
Pavilion

Black Chapel draws inspiration from many of the architectural typologies that ground the artist’s practice.

Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022
Courtesy of Serpentine. Image © Iwan Baan
Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022
Courtesy of Serpentine. Image © Iwan Baan

The structure references the bottle kilns of Stoke-on-Trent in England, the beehive kilns of the Western United States, San Pietro, and the Roman tempiettos, and traditional African building structures such as the Musgum mud huts of Cameroon and the Kasabi Tombs of Kampala, Uganda.

Drawn to the transcendental environment of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, Gates has produced a series of new tar paintings, especially for Black Chapel. Determined to create a space that reflects the artist’s hand and sensibilities, seven panels hang from the interior structure.

In these works, Gates honours his father’s craft as a roofer and uses roofing strategies and torch down, which requires an open flame to heat the material and affix it to the surface.

An operating bronze bell, salvaged from St. Laurence, a landmark Catholic Church that once stood on Chicago’s South Side, will stand next to the entrance of the Pavilion.

Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022
Courtesy of Serpentine. Image © Iwan Baan
Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022
Courtesy of Serpentine. Image © Iwan Baan

Underscoring the erasure of spaces for convening and spiritual communion in urban communities, the historic bell will act as a call to assembly, congregation, and contemplation throughout the summer’s events.