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Nick Cave (performance artist)

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Nick Cave (born 1959[1] in central 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.[citation needed] He resides in Chicago and is director of the graduate fashion program at School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Early life and educationEdit

Nick Cave was raised in 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 graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982, where he learned to sew.[citation needed] Also during his time he began studying dance through an Alvin Ailey program, both in Kansas City and New York City.[citation needed] Cave went on to get his masters from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 1989.[citation needed]

  • 1984–1986 Graduate Studies, North Texas State University, Denton.


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.[3] [4]


Cave is represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery,[5] and has exhibited his Soundsuits since 1999.[citation needed] His work was shown at UCLA's Fowler Museum in 2010.[6]

Solo Exhibitions / Projects[7]

Images Edit

Further readingEdit

Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth, Dan Cameron, Kate Eilertsen, Pam McClusky, Nick Cave ISBN 978-0-615-24593-5

Nick Cave ACE View and artist statement at Art+Culture Editions


  1. Extended Family - Contemporary Connections at the Brooklyn Museum
  2. Finkel, Jori (April 5, 2009). "I Dream the Clothing Electric". The New York Times. 
  3. Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth, Dan Cameron, Kate Eilertsen, Pam McClusky, Nick Cave ISBN 978-0-615-24593-5
  4. Anderson, Kirsten (July 2011). "Dance Dance Evolution: the Soundsuits of Nick Cave". Hi-Fructose 20: 70–79. Retrieved 8/4/2011. 
  5. Jack Shainman Gallery. Artists. Retrieved on 8/4/11.
  6. [1]
  7. [2]
  8. The Fabric Workshop and Museum:.
  9. Mary Boone Gallery:.
  10. Seattle Art Museum:. SAM: "Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth" March 10 - June 5, 2011. Seattle Art Museum. Retrieved on 8/4/11.
  11. Lightfoot, Judy (March 11, 2011). S.A.M.’s exhibit of Nick Cave 'soundsuits': a smiling, sumptuous journey. Crosscut. Retrieved on August 20, 2011.
  12. Abarbanel, Stacey Ravel (10/23/09). "Fowler Museum presents 'Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth,' Jan 10–May 30, 2010". UCLA Newsroom. Retrieved 8/4/11. 

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