Nick Cave (performance artist)

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For the musician, see Nick Cave.
Nick Cave

Nick Cave (born 1959[1] in Fulton, Missouri, USA) is an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. He is best known for his Soundsuits: wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and other-worldly. He also trained as a dancer with Alvin Ailey.[2] He resides in Chicago and is director of the graduate fashion program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Early life and education[edit]

Nick Cave was raised in central Missouri, by a single mother. He had many siblings, and the family was of modest means. Cave attributes his interest in found objects and assemblage to his childhood circumstances.[2]

Cave learned to sew in the fiber department of the Kansas City Art Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1982.[3] Also during his time he began studying dance through an Alvin Ailey program, both in Kansas City and New York City.[2] Cave went on to get a master's degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1989.[4]


Cave's first Soundsuit was made of twigs. Other typical materials include dyed human hair, sisal, plastic buttons, beads, sequins, and feathers. The finished pieces bear some resemblance to African ceremonial costumes and masks. His suits are presented for public viewing as static sculptures, but also through live performance, video, and photographs.[5][6]


Cave is represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery,[7] and has exhibited his Soundsuits since 1999.[citation needed] His work was shown at UCLA's Fowler Museum in 2010.[8]

Solo Exhibitions / Projects[9]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Extended Family - Contemporary Connections at the Brooklyn Museum". Artabase. 
  2. ^ a b c Finkel, Jori (April 5, 2009). "I Dream the Clothing Electric". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "KCAI alum Nick Cave to present his Soundsuits for school's 125th anniversary gala Feb. 20". Kansas City Star. January 31, 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Alumni in the News". Cranbrook Academy of Art. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  5. ^ Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. 2009. ISBN 978-0-615-24593-5. 
  6. ^ Anderson, Kirsten (July 2011). "Dance Dance Evolution: the Soundsuits of Nick Cave". Hi-Fructose. 20: 70–79. Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  7. ^ Jack Shainman Gallery. "Artists". Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  8. ^ Isã, Claudine (April 6, 2009). "The Soundsuits of Nick Cave: Contemporary Art or Material Culture?". Bad at Sports. 
  9. ^ "Faculty: Nick Cave". School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 
  10. ^ "Nick Cave - Made for Whites". 
  11. ^ "Currents 109: Nick Cave". Saint Louis Art Museum. 
  12. ^ "Nick Cave: Sojourn". Denver Art Museum. 
  13. ^ "FreePort [No. 006]: Nick Cave". Peabody Essex Museum. 
  14. ^ "Nick Cave - The World is My Skin" (in Danish). Trapholt. 
  15. ^ "Events at Grand Central Terminal :: Nick Cave: Heard•NY :: Mar 25, 2013". Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Nick Cave: Let's C". The Fabric Workshop and Museum. 
  17. ^ "Nick Cave: For Now". Mary Boone Gallery. 
  18. ^ "Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth". Seattle Art Museum. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  19. ^ Lightfoot, Judy (March 11, 2011). "S.A.M.'s exhibit of Nick Cave 'soundsuits': a smiling, sumptuous journey". Crosscut. Retrieved August 20, 2011. 
  20. ^ Abarbanel, Stacey Ravel (2009-10-23). "Fowler Museum presents 'Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth,' Jan 10–May 30, 2010". UCLA Newsroom. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  21. ^ Baker, Kenneth (April 21, 2009). "Nick Cave's 'Soundsuits' made from detritus". San Francisco Chronicle. 

External links[edit]