Nick Cave is a prolific artist and dancer, famous for his sculptures called soundsuits, which he often stages in public spectacle. The artist conceives some as fragile sculptural totems, and others as wearable performance suits designed for sound, mobility, and dance. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion, and textile design, the origin of the soundsuit is rooted in social critique. Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protected one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality. As Cave’s artwork began to resonate with vast audiences, the artist saw the soundsuits as powerful agents to capture the public imagination on a monumental scale. Cave’s artistic practice now advocates the vital importance of collective dreaming, which he actualizes through large-scale performances.
A new exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum features a collection of more than 30 sculptural Soundsuits by Nick Cave, an artist whose reputation has steadily grown in recent years.Sometimes confused with the Australian musician who shares his name, Cave earned a graduate degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills in 1989. Now chairman of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he’s known for his elaborate costume/sculptures. Once trained as a dancer with Alvin Ailey in New York, he uses the Soundsuits in performances art pieces.
THE WEEK’S TOP NEWS COVERAGE from around the web featuring artists Nick Cave, Gordon Parks, Noah Purifoy, Mark Bradford, Mickalene Thomas and designer Duro Olowu. T MAGAZINE talks to Chicago-based artist Nick Cave about “Here Hear,” his first solo exhibition in Michigan at the Cranbrook Art Museum. An alumni of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, which is outside of Detroit, Cave has been staging pop-up performances around the city since April. In “Nick Cave Revisits Detroit, Soundsuits in Tow,” the artist says: “Thank God for the city. I got here and I was the sole black person, so Detroit saved my life. I became connected to this circle of creative people.”
Here is your preview for Nick Cave's exhibition Here Hear at Cranbrook Art Museum! Lots of great events coming up this weekend to celebrate the opening of this exhibition and the kick off of several upcoming performance events. Take a look to learn more! #HEREHEAR
Cranbrook Academy of Arts graduate and well-known artist Nick Cave will have a solo exhibit at the Bloomfield Hills Academy, including a collection of about 30 wearable fabric sculptures, along with other sculptures and his video work. The exhibit opens Saturday.The 7,000 square foot exhibit, Here Hear, will feature 11 new soundsuits that are on display for the first time. His soundsuits are life-sized, and made of metal, plastic, fabric, hair, and objects. Another gallery will house his artwork and sculptures, including a new work inspired by Trayvon Martin.
This weekend marks the beginning of a major exhibition of work by Nick Cave at Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, a small town just north of Detroit. It’s a homecoming for the artist, who studied at Cranbook’s art academy in the 1980s and still feels a connection to both school and city. “Detroit played a critical role in my education,” he says. “It provided me a very radical mind-set, the city provided the soul.”But when Laura Mott, curator of contemporary art and design for the museum, invited Cave to return to his alma mater for a solo exhibition, he agreed with one condition. “I’ll only do it if I can do some outreach work.”
Missouri-born, Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has made a name for himself with his colorful "Soundsuits" — ornate, wearable sculptures that have been exhibited as standalone art objects and costumed dance performances. Lately, he's partnered with his alma mater the Cranbrook Academy of Art (Cave is an '89 graduate of their master's program) to bring performances around the metro Detroit area. We caught up by phone with Cave from his Chicago studio to learn more.
When Nick Cave arrived at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987, he was the only African American in his class. He felt as out of place on the idyllic suburban campus in Bloomfield Hills as a penguin on the prairie.Cave escaped as often as he could to Detroit, where he was able to reaffirm his cultural identity within the rich texture of black life in the city, especially the dance and music scenes."That was the first time I had to look at myself as a black male, and it was a struggle to find my place," said the 56-year-old Chicago-based artist. "Detroit allowed Cranbrook to work for me, to find a balance."
A WRITHING CENTIPEDE WROUGHT in hammered brass and a gold necklace evoking the decayed, wilted sepals of a plant are among the jewelry designs on view in the Cranbrook Art Museum’s exhibition Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia. To celebrate the centennial of the artist’s birth, the institution has organized the first museum exhibition devoted exclusively to his jewelry.
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“Detroit was such a pivotal part of my time at school,” says the artist Nick Cave who attended Cranbrook in nearby Bloomfield Hills. When his alma mater approached him to do exhibition there, he told them, “I would only do the show if I could do some work in Detroit. They were really on board.” The show is a monumental homecoming for the sculptor who now lives in Chicago. Partnering with a local high school, dance academies and grass roots non-profits, Cave dreamt up an entire summer of programming, which will activate seemingly every corner of the city with vibrant performances. “We’re bringing the work to Detroit, but hiring the city to build the project,” explains Cave.
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