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Nick Cave (American, b. 1959) is an internationally-renowned artist living and working in Chicago. As an artist, an educator, and foremost a messenger, Cave works 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, which he states are “full body suits constructed of materials that rattle with movement…like a coat of armor, they embellish the body while protecting the wearer from outside culture.”

Cave created his first soundsuit in response to the Rodney King beating in LA in 1992. Creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, soundsuits camouflage the body, forcing viewers to look without bias or judgment. While Cave’s iconic soundsuits are intentionally meant to defy immediate categorization, they certainly speak to cultural traditions such as costuming and masquerading, particularly in the construction of African American identity.

The exhibition at Telfair Museums features a selection of soundsuits made in the past decade, as well as two tondos—large circular works evoking the night sky and the cosmos—and two recent videos documenting the soundsuits and their use in performance. This is the largest presentation of Cave’s work ever displayed in Georgia.


Nick Cave Members-Only Opening Lecture and Reception
Thursday, January 26
Lecture, 6pm; Reception, 7–8pm
Members only; free

Join Denise Markonish, curator at MASS MoCA, for a lecture on the art of Nick Cave. Markonish is curator of the exhibition Nick Cave: Until, the artist’s largest solo exhibition project to date. A noted and influential curator, Markonish has produced numerous other projects at MASS MoCA. She has taught at Williams College and the Rhode Island School of Design and is head of the advisory committee for the SETI Institute’s artist-in-residence program. Sponsored by the Telfair Academy Guild.

Free Family Day
Sunday, February 5, 1–4pm

Explore the joys of mixed media and nontraditional approaches to making fine art in this special Free Family Day event! Meet and discover local artists and art groups making and promoting contemporary art in an array of media, and take part in this exciting, blossoming scene by making some art of your own! Sponsored by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.

College Night
Saturday, April 8, 5–8pm / Jepson Center
Free with College ID

College students are invited to discover unique offerings of Telfair Museums, including special tours of the Nick Cave exhibition plus KCHUNG Radio’s live event broadcast.

Funding is provided by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Exhibition Sponsors: Dr. Victor L. Andrews, Inge A. Brasseler, Mr. and Mrs. F. Reed Dulany III, Bob and Jean Faircloth, Alice and Bob Jepson, Candace Lanier, Mr. and Mrs. Angus C. Littlejohn, Carolyn Luck McElveen, Mr. J. Wilson and Mrs. Linda Fisk Morris, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Rabinowitz, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas V. Reilly, Cheri D. and Benjamin R. Roach, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Roelle, Jacqueline and Ken Sirlin, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Solomons, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Dwaine L. Willett, Ms. Susan Willetts and Mr. Alan K. Pritz.

Nick Cave
Speak Louder, 2011
mixed media including beaded and sequined garments, fabric, metal, and mannequin
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Photo: James Prinz Photography

Soundsuit, 2011
mixed media including hooked rugs, fabric, metal, and mannequin; 107 x 29 x 17 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Photo: James Prinz Photography


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