CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
opened Nick Cave: Forothermore, the first career-spanning retrospective of internationally renowned, Chicago-based artist Nick Cave. The most comprehensive survey of Caves work to date, the exhibition is curated by Naomi Beckwith, former Manilow Senior Curator, MCA Chicago and is on view at the MCA from May 14 to October 2, 2022.
Im thrilled to be sharing my careers work in my chosen hometown. I dont take the gravity of this moment for granted, said Cave. From the MCA to the DuSable and beyond, this community and city-wide project is the realization of a dream that could only happen in Chicago this way, with this brilliant team and throughout this great city.
Running concurrently with Forothermore, Cave also debuts a new video work at Art on theMART, the worlds largest permanent digital art projection, as part of its Summer 2022 programming. The projection of Caves video work, made specifically for Art on theMART, is a remix of Caves original film Drive-By (2011) with new footage, and can be seen from May 5 through September 7, 2022.
Following its tenure at the MCA, a recast version of Forothermore will travel to the Guggenheim in New York City for an exhibition opening November 18, 2022, and is also curated by Naomi Beckwith, who currently serves as Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Guggenheim Museum.
Nick Caves utopian vision and gift for magical material transformation is only matched by his generosity as a mentor, educator and activist, said Beckwith. I am thrilled to see that the seeds that he planted in Chicago have flourished into a citywide celebration that not only honors his inspiring work but is a gift to his adopted hometown. Equally important is that audiences at the Guggenheim New York will also have the opportunity to experience a fulsome view of Nicks artistic and life practice. Nick is an artist who allows all his audiences to celebrate, mourn, and learn with and
from each other; a kind of social healing that is so necessary as the world contends
with continued physical and political isolation.
For over three decades, Cave has centered his artistic practice on community building and addressing pressing societal issues related to race, gender, sexuality and class. First coming to prominence with his acclaimed Soundsuits series, Cave is celebrated for his projects that eloquently blend community building with vibrant works of art across disciplines, including immersive installations, textural sculptures, impeccably
crafted fashions and dynamic videos and performances. In addition to being an artist, Cave is also a prominent activist and educator - qualities that make his work a true representation of the MCAs mission, says the museums Pritzker Director, Madeleine Grynsztejn.
"The MCA has committed itself to presenting local Chicago artists whose works elevate the global discourse surrounding contemporary art and social practice, including, among others, Kerry James Marshall, Virgil Abloh and now Nick Cave, said Grynsztejn. This recent history of curatorial programming is not only indicative of this institutions ongoing efforts to surface the critical art histories being formed within Chicago but also serves as a testament to this citys vibrant ecosystem of artists, galleries, universities, and museums that have supported such a thriving artist community."
Reflecting the artists three-dimensional approach, the exhibition is designed as an immersive journey that begins with Spinner Forest and continues in the galleries with the artists cast bronze sculptures, tapestries made of sequined garments, color-saturated videos, and breath-taking installations such as the larger-than-life Beaded Cliff Wall that is comprised of millions of colorful pony beads threaded into shoelaces by hand. Displayed against a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling geometric vinyl wallpaper collaboratively designed with the artists partner Bob Faust, Forothermore traces artistic themes and Caves evolving interests over three decades, with works from as early as 1989.
Forothermore features over a dozen works from Caves Soundsuit series in addition to the debut of his new series, Soundsuits 9:29. The head-to-toe garments are constructed with a mélange of materials, among them beads, pearls, wire, feather, sequins, synthetic hair, and twigs. Originally created by Cave in response to the Rodney King beating in 1992, Soundsuits 9:29 addresses todays heightened social unrest and reckoning for racial justice in response to the death of George Floyd.
Another highlight of the exhibition is Caves immersive 14-channel, room-sized video installation Hy-Dyve, that is presented in the adjacent fourth floor gallery and surrounds visitors with projections of flowing water, blinking eyes and mysterious creatures and patterns. Forothermore also includes Caves recent series of sculptures of carved and cast bronze hands, heads and limbs decorated with flowers, candles and found objects such as used shotgun shells.
Nick Cave: Forothermore is presented in the Griffin Galleries of Contemporary Art on the museums fourth floor.
Nick Cave (b. 1959, Fulton, MO; lives and works in Chicago, IL) 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. Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, initially created in direct response to the police beating of Rodney King in 1991. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. They serve as a visual embodiment of social justice that represent both brutality and empowerment.