Described as textiles-meet-modern dance, Cave’s colorful, larger than life sculptures have been displayed in museums and worn by Cave and other professional dancers as part of performances. The Soundsuits consist of a wide variety of materials and are designed to make noise as the wearer moves. The exhibition will headline the museum’s celebration of Denver’s biennial, Platform 5280, and its campus-wide celebration, Spun: Adventures in Textile, opening in the summer of 2013.“Nick Cave’s imaginative creations cross the divide between art and dance, display and performance,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum. “New works by the artist will debut in our unique spaces, and this is a fantastic way to highlight the celebration of textile art and the Americas in summer 2013.”
Cave grew up in a large family in St. Louis, Missouri, and credits his single mother for encouraging his creativity. The artist studied textiles and sewing at the Kansas City Art Institute and also studied with the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, known for its contemporary choreography. The artist obtained a master’s degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and teaches fashion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Cave’s first Soundsuit happened in response to the Rodney King beating—he intended to create a sculpture using found twigs and once complete realized he could wear it. When he put it on, the rustling twigs created an audible kinetic dimension that resulted in the now-famed series of Soundsuit sculptures. The twig suit was the first of many Soundsuits crafted from non-traditional materials including fabric, human hair, buttons and feathers.“Nick Cave’s Soundsuits are mesmerizing hybrids of art, sculpture and dance,” explained Sonnet Coggins, master teacher for modern and contemporary art at the DAM. “Imagine carefully crafted sculptures in vibrant colors, made up of everything from foraged twigs to crocheted doilies and sandwich bags that come to life through the movement of the human body. I’m looking forward to talking with Nick at the upcoming Logan Lecture about how he creates sculptural costumes that have an amazing capacity to delight while sparking conversations about things like identity, community and creativity.”
The Nick Cave exhibition is supported by the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).Download PDF of press release.