See Socially Engaged Works by Carrie Mae Weems, Titus Kaphar, and Other Artists in Antwaun Sargent’s Curatorial Debut at Gagosian


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 New York Times.

Christie Neptune, <i>Untitled</i> (2021).© Christie Neptune. Courtesy of the artist and Grant Wahlquist Gallery, Portland, Maine, and Gagosian.

Christie Neptune, Untitled (2021).© Christie Neptune. Courtesy of the artist and Grant Wahlquist Gallery, Portland, Maine, and Gagosian.

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 Are we really that different? (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.

Social Works, installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

“Social Works,” installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Alexandria Smith, <i>Iterations of a galaxy beyond the pedestal</i>, (2021). © Alexandria Smith. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian.

Alexandria Smith, Iterations of a galaxy beyond the pedestal, (2021). © Alexandria Smith. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian.

Social Works, installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

“Social Works,” installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Carrie Mae Weems, <i>The British Museum</i> (2006–). © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and Gagosian.

Carrie Mae Weems, The British Museum (2006–). © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and Gagosian.

Rick Lowe, <i>Black Wall Street Journey #5</i> (2021). © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas Dubrock. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

Rick Lowe, Black Wall Street Journey #5 (2021). © Rick Lowe Studio. Photo: Thomas Dubrock. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian.

Social Works, installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

“Social Works,” installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Lauren Halsey, <i>black history wall of respect (II)</i> (2021). © Lauren Halsey. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy of the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, and Gagosian.

Lauren Halsey, black history wall of respect (II) (2021). © Lauren Halsey. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy of the artist, David Kordansky Gallery, and Gagosian.

Kenturah Davis, <i>the bodily effect of a color (sam)</i> (2021). © Kenturah Davis. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio. Courtesy of the artist, Matthew Brown Los Angeles, and Gagosian.

Kenturah Davis, the bodily effect of a color (sam) (2021). © Kenturah Davis. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen Studio. Courtesy of the artist, Matthew Brown Los Angeles, and Gagosian.

Theaster Gates, <i>A Song for Frankie</i> (2017–21). © Theaster Gates. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gaosian.

Theaster Gates, A Song for Frankie (2017–21). © Theaster Gates. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gaosian.

Social Works, installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

“Social Works,” installation view, 2021. Artworks © artists. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

“Social Works” is on view through August 13 at Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street. 

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