Nick Cave deals with spectacle and responsibility in his installations and textile works, including his iconic Soundsuits, blending sculpture, costume design, and instrument-making. Learning to sew while repairing hand-me-downs from older siblings led to the first in his Soundsuit series: wearable assemblage fabric sculptures often made with found objects. Influences of African art traditions, armor, ceremonial dress, couture fashion, designed textiles, and stereotypically feminine objects are present in his work. By transforming the experience and environment, Cave addresses the implications and consequences of vulnerability.

Featuring sculpture, installation, video, and rarely seen early works, Nick Cave: Forothermore covers the breadth of the artist’s career. A neologism, the title reflects the artist’s lifelong commitment to creating space for those marginalized by dominant society and culture—especially working-class communities and queer people of color. The show highlights Cave’s art practice and engages with the promises, fulfilled or broken, that the late 20th and early 21st centuries offered to the “other.”

The exhibition unfolds as a tripartite story, with chapters bearing titles inspired by an old African American greeting. “What It Was” explores early works that honor Cave’s creative and social foundations, including the psychedelic pageantry of George Clinton’s collective Parliament-Funkadelic and flamboyant Chicago house music. “What It Is” includes Cave’s work addressing oppression, loss, mourning, and remembrance, but also joy and collective celebration. Finally, “What It Shall Be” gathers Cave’s recent incarnation of Soundsuits and monumentally scaled Tondo works, which explore his survival strategies amid injustice.

By Published On: September 26th, 2019Categories: American ArtComments Off on Celebrating Nick Cave