Just in time to bid farewell to summer, Cranbrook Art Museum is getting ready to celebrate the close of its Michigan-made exhibit, “Designing Summer: Objects of Escape.”According to Shelley Selim, assistant curator of the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections at Cranbrook, the show highlights the tradition of outdoor fun in Michigan during the summer.“It all sort of materialized when we received a gift of 20 picnic posters designed by Steve Fryholm, who graduated from the (Cranbrook Academy of Art) and worked for Herman Miller,” she said. “(The posters) advertise the annual company picnic; they’re beautiful and incredibly graphic images of summer picnic food like sweet corn, grilled chicken, fruit salad and lemonade. They’re all silk-screened with flat layers of color. They’re just spectacular, and we thought we needed an exhibition for these.”
Whether along one of the Great Lakes, any of the numerous inland lakes, or the Detroit Riverfront, it is an undeniable fact that Michiganders spend their summer by the water. Going Up North is a standard phrase, and an even more common occurrence, whether for a long weekend or a week’s vacation. These locations epitomize the summer goal of escape, of leaving one’s cares (and responsibilities) behind. Designing Summer: Objects of Escape at the Cranbrook Art Museum through August 30th traces the evolution of the modern concept of summer vacations in Michigan, and how many of the objects that contribute to this notion of leisure time have their roots in Michigan.
Designed by the highly influential architect Eliel Saarinen in the 1920s, this Art Deco masterpiece sits on the campus of the Cranbrook Art Museum. From 1930 through 1950, the structure served as the home and studio of Saarinen, Cranbrook’s first resident architect and the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s inaugural president and head of the Architecture […]
I stood at the entrance of the Dequindre Cut Lafayette Park overpass, a few steps away from the Mies van der Rohe Historic District where I reside. I looked over the small bridge into the Dequindre valley shortly after checking my iPhone for the time. It was 4:01 p.m. on a hot July Sunday in Detroit. A Nick Cave Soundsuit performance was set to take place in Detroit’s Dequindre Cut, a relatively new pathway where the city’s residents can run and jog at leisure.Two figures in Cave’s handmade Soundsuits galloped down one of the entry ramps onto the Dequindre Cut; one in black and one in white, dancing angelically. The materials on the Soundsuit garments were draped effortlessly — like long, and thick strands of hair — as the dancers gracefully gallop up and down in the humid summer air. A live band playing “toy pop” lead by composer Frank Pahl preceded the dancers.
DETROIT — In 1989, while a postgraduate at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Nick Cave developed the first of his Soundsuits, for which he has become world-famous — sculptural bodysuits constructed from a range of found objects, which transform the wearer into a figure both highly visible and completely obscured. The Soundsuit was a means for Cave to process the intense vulnerability he felt as a black man during the Rodney King beating, which took place the same year he graduated with his MFA from Cranbrook, which boasts a lavish and sequestered campus in the affluent and mostly white Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.
DETROIT GAVE ME THE SOUL. It was a critical part of my education. When I was a graduate student at Cranbrook Academy, I learned so much, but it was in the house music dance community here in 1987–88 where I found myself. During undergrad, I had taken summer classes with Alvin Ailey in New York and I learned to dance. Coming from that training, I then applied it to my work. I’ve always looked at dance as an artwork where you are drawing in 4-D. By the time I moved to Detroit, I adopted a more improvisational approach to movement, one that was structured but responsive to constant transformation. Lately, it has become less about dance and more about movement in my work.
A recent splashy headline in the New York Times style section proclaimed Detroit "the last stop on the L train." The article was one of several lifestyle dispatches the paper has published touting the economically depressed Midwestern city as a destination for young creatives disillusioned by the high rent, cramped spaces and rampant gentrification of New York neighborhoods like Bushwick, Brooklyn. "Here Hear," an exhibition of Chicago-based artist Nick Cave's work at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (through Oct. 11), shares the Times' optimism about Detroit's potential. Known for his vibrant aesthetic combining the disciplines of fashion, craft, performance and fine art, Cave has expanded his practice to include public engagement and performance. For the Cranbrook show, Cave has taken take the city of Detroit as his muse, creating his most ambitious series of programs to date intended to engage citizens. Rather than import change from the outside, Cave's show is offered up as a model for considering artists' responsibility to place.
Chicago-based artist and Cranbrook alum Nick Cave has been appearing around Detroit in his colorful soundsuits as part of his Hear Here exhibition at the Cranbrook Art Museum. The public will have a chance to see Cave's soundsuits in action during a series of live performances that will be held in and around Detroit starting this Saturday.For the performances, Cave has partnered with local dancers and musicians and given each group a "box" of supplies they will use to create a live performance. The dance labs performance schedule is below. You can also catch rehearsals at MOCAD, which are open to the public to view — check the official site for the schedule.
Outdoor art has long flourished in Detroit. There's the most obvious: the Heidelberg Project on the east side and west-side murals in the Grand River Creative Corridor.Now those installations and others -- including free "Here Hear" shows for four months by fabric sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave of Chicago -- draw in-depth attention from Melena Ryzik of The New York Times:Outdoor art has long flourished in Detroit. There's the most obvious: the Heidelberg Project on the east side and west-side murals in the Grand River Creative Corridor.Now those installations and others -- including free "Here Hear" shows for four months by fabric sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave of Chicago -- draw in-depth attention from Melena Ryzik of The New York Times.
DETROIT — The Chicago artist Nick Cave was playing Santa Claus. Mr. Cave, known for his Soundsuits, costume-like sculptures that blend movement and noise, had enormous boxes delivered last Saturday to local dancers, a choreographer and a D.J. rehearsing here. The surprise contents would inspire their dance performance a week later, as part of “Here Hear,” Mr. Cave’s four-month-long exhibition and free performance series throughout Detroit. Vibrant Soundsuits emerged from the boxes. “It’s wearable!” cried Erika Stowall, a dancer.
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