For Immediate Release
1 December 2015
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
Nick Cave: Until
Largest-Ever Museum Exhibition Signals Next Phase of Artist’s Career
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — If you think you know Nick Cave, think again. The artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in a massive immersive installation opening October 16, 2016; not a single Soundsuit will be found in this exhibition. Instead, Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, which will make viewers feel as if they have entered a rich sensory tapestry, like stepping directly inside the belly of one of his iconic Soundsuits.
Often seen as celebrations of movement and material, the first Soundsuit, made out of twigs, was a direct response to the Rodney King beating, a visual image about social justice that was both brutal and empowering. Just as the violence around the Rodney King beating was the impetus to Cave’s early work, the death of men such as Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown drive his new imagery. For Cave’s MASS MoCA installation, Until — a double play on the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” or in this case “guilty until proven innocent” — Cave addresses issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations, and gender politics in America today.
Until begins with a dense sculptural field of metallic lawn ornaments leading to a crystal cloud topped by a private garden populated with birds, flowers, and black-face lawn jockeys, finally coming to rest before a cliff wall constructed of millions of plastic pony beads. This is an active space where alluring kinetics and a sumptuous materiality give way to stark images of guns, bullets, and targets, positioning us all as culpable, vulnerable, and potentially under attack. The aim of this is pointed, questioning us to spark discussion about important issues in a space that is at once dazzling, provocative, and — ultimately —overwhelmingly optimistic. Cave believes in humanity, celebrating possibility while also creating a forum for critical discussion.
Cave has come to see himself as a messenger, endeavoring to coalesce communities, discuss important issues, and ultimately heal through art. “I view this work as a theater set, or an elaborate community forum, as much as a work of sculpture,” notes Cave. And as such, the space will be used throughout the run of the 10-month exhibition as an event-driven area. Conceived as a one-year concatenation of performances, community events, and art, Until incorporates special appearances by internationally known dancers, singer-songwriters, pop artists, poets, and composers, together with panel discussions, community forums, and other forms of creative public debate and engagement.
This is Nick Cave from the inside out, on a grand theatrical scale.
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
About the Artist
Born in Missouri in 1959, Nick Cave studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and trained with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Solo exhibitions include: the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Nick Cave: Sojourn, Denver Art Museum; Nick Cave: The World is My Skin, Trapholt Museum, Denmark; Freeport 006: Nick Cave, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Fantastic 2012, Lille 3000, Le Tripostal, Lille, France; and HEARD•NY, a large-scale performance in Grand Central Terminal organized by Creative Time. Public collections include the Brooklyn Museum; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the High Museum, Atlanta; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Orlando Museum of Art; the Smithsonian Institution; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Cave has received several awards, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, Artadia Award, the Joyce Award, Creative Capital grants, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Cave teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, NY.
A collection of high-resolution images is available here: bit.ly/1NSg8vH.
This exhibition is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Jack Shainman Gallery, and the Robert Lehman Foundation.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.
MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring through fall. Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.