Inspired by the kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, the Chicago artist’s Black Chapel will host bands, including his own, and also provide ‘a place of quietude’ where even the British weather is welcome.
The Serpentine Gallery’s annual summer pavilion will take a spiritual turn this year, in the form of a cylindrical Black Chapel, designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates. Taking inspiration from the kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, the wooden structure will rise up to a great domed roof, punctured by a central oculus, illuminating a circular space for reflection and musical performances.
“Coming out of Covid, I thought how nice it would be to have a place of quietude,” said Gates. “It’s a place for people to be with their thoughts and rest, a sacred chapel where you can sit and be reflective. It should give you the ability to touch your inside self.”
The pop-up Pantheon, which has been designed with the help of Adjaye Associates, will feature a large bronze bell at its entrance, salvaged from the St Laurence church on Chicago’s South Side, which was demolished in 2014. It will be used to signal concerts and events in a wide-ranging programme, including a planned performance by Gates and his band, the Black Monks...
Serpentine Pavilion: Black Chapel is at the Serpentine Gallery, London, from 10 June to 16 October.