Nick Cave is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. He says of himself, "I have found my middle and now am working toward what I am leaving behind." Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment.
In a 2013 feature in Interview Magazine, Cave said of his project HEARD•NY, a large scale performance in Grand Central Terminal organized by Creative Time, “I was really thinking of getting us back to this dream state, this place where we imagine and think about now and how we exist and function in the world. With the state of affairs on the world, I think we tend not to take the time out to create that dream space in our heads.” This is relevant to his practice as a whole.
Cave has several important institutional projects concurrently on view, including Nick Cave: Feat, which opened at the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (2017 – 18), then travelled to the Orlando Museum of Art (2018) and the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio, the Glenbow Museum of Art, Calgary, and the Mississippi Museum of Art, all in 2019. Nick Cave, a solo presentation of work, opens at the Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, MO in spring 2019. Cave was recently the subject of Until, a major solo exhibition of new work at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA in 2016-17, which travelled to Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia (2018 – 19), Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland in 2019, and then to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR in 2020. Other solo exhibitions include The Let Go at the Park Avenue Armory, New York (2018), the Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan (2015), St. Louis Art Museum (2014-2015), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2014), Denver Art Museum (2013). Cave’s video work, Drive-By Remix, was featured in Times Square Arts’ Midnight Moment, where it was projected across multiple of the Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57pm to midnight for the month of December 2018.
Public collections include the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Trapholt Museum, Kolding, Denmark, among others.
Cave has received several prestigious awards including: the Art in Embassies International Medal of Arts Honoree (2017), the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review Award (2014) in recognition of his Grand Central Terminal performance Heard - NY, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008), Artadia Award (2006), the Joyce Award (2006), Creative Capital Grants (2002, 2004 and 2005), and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2001). Cave, who received his MFA at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, is Professor and Chairman of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Nick Cave has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2006 when he had a show entitled Soundsuits. Other solo exhibitions at the gallery include Recent Soundsuits (2009), Ever-After (2011), a two-part exhibition Made by Whites for Whites and Rescue (2014) and Weather or Not and If a Tree Falls, both 2018.