Born in 1961, Gregory Coates grew up in Washington, DC and attended Corcoran School of Art. He later traveled abroad for 18 months to Germany and while attending the prestigious Kunst Akademie in Düsseldorf he continued to create figurative art. His first installation was awarded to him by Paul Pozzoza Museum. This piece was reviewed by Sabine Schults in Kunst Forum, Germany.
Coates is creative with his usage of found materials. Artistically, he enjoyed painting abstract female figures with mixed media, but left behind the tradition of using a brush when Al Loving, his mentor, pointed at a boisterous collage made with wood, metal and cardboard and said in his matter of fact way, “that’s your art, there!”
“The shift was gradual, but the art started to be not about the use of material, but the material itself — the material as subject matter”, said Lowery Simms in the Legacy catalog at the Summit Center for the Art.
By year 2000, Coates was awarded Joan Mitchell, Pollock Krasner, and Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Fellowship Grants in addition to the New York State Foundation Grant.
His work is shown internationally, most recently at Galerie Denkraum in Vienna, where his show “Strut” got raving reviews in a full-page color spread in the Wiener Zeitung paper.