Nick Cave (b. 1959, Fulton, Missouri) has become internationally celebrated for his elaborate installations and textile works, including his iconic Soundsuits, which blend sculpture, costume design, and instrument-making. Nick Cave: Forothermore will be a survey exhibition covering the entire breadth of the artist’s career, and it will feature sculpture, installation, video, and rarely seen early works. The title is a neologism, a new word that reflects the artist’s lifelong commitment to creating space for those who feel marginalized by dominant society and culture—especially working-class communities and queer people of color. The show will both highlight the development of Cave’s singular art practice and interrogate the promises, fulfilled or broken, that the late 20th and early 21st centuries offered to the “other.”
Installed in the museum’s tower galleries, the survey’s thematic sections are titled “What It Was,” “What It Is,” and “What It Shall Be”, inspired by an old African American greeting. The exhibition will unfold as a tripartite story, with each chapter looking into the past, present, and future of Cave’s practice. “What It Was” will explore early works that honor the artist’s creative and social foundations within his family and beyond. Living and working in Chicago, Cave often cites the psychedelic pageantry of George Clinton’s collective Parliament-Funkadelic and the flamboyant excess of Chicago house music as formative influences on his artistic development. “What It Is” will include Cave’s work that addresses oppression, loss, mourning, and remembrance, but also joy and collective celebration. Finally, “What It Shall Be” will gather Cave’s recent incarnation of Soundsuits and monumentally scaled Tondo works, which exemplify his survival strategies amid injustice.
Image: Installation view of Nick Cave, Forothermore