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26

Theaster Gates

Artist

Age: 41

He may not be getting as much national attention as he once did. But in January, the entrepreneurial artist with the growing urban renewal empire landed the prestigious Artes Mundi prize for contemporary art, and he remains a powerful operator in town. This year, he’ll participate in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial and complete a work for the 95th Street Red Line terminal—the largest public art installation in the CTA’s history.

Read more about his rise in this profile from 2013.

Illustration: Joe Darrow

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