Nick Cave, American, 1959-
Born: Jefferson City, MO
Work Locations: Chicago, IL
United States
mixed media, including mannequin, fabric, hot pads, vintage toys, synthetic hair, and see saw
Purchased with Modern and Contemporary acquisition funds and the support of Vicki and Kent Logan

Nick Cave, Untitled, 2013.

Mixed media, including mannequin, fabric, hot pads, vintage toys, synthetic hair and seesaw.

Denver Art Museum: Purchased with Modern and Contemporary acquisition funds and the support of Vicki and Kent Logan, 2013.76A-F.

© Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

height: 141 in, 358.1400 cm; width: 166 in, 421.6400 cm; depth: 45 in, 114.3000 cm
Modern and Contemporary Art
Modern and Contemporary Art

The soundsuits are a product of Cave’s ongoing hunt for flea/thrift-market finds, his daring use of ordinary objects, and his homage to handcrafted textiles. Cave’s inclusion of everyday objects, like we see in the piece, such as vintage toys and textiles makes his work accessible to a wide audience while also questioning society’s valuing of these often discarded everyday objects. Usually the soundsuits have a front and back but in this more recent work, he has contrasted these opposing sides on opposite sides of a seesaw.  This duality represents a double identity in Cave’s work that illustrates his interest in creating a metaphor for our ability for change or, as Cave puts it, to “step out of ourselves.” Built from an accumulation of found objects, the suits also become a mirror of our culture’s excess. The once-discarded surplus of society is transformed into objects of desire and human proportions. 

Cave has been a pioneer among a growing number of artists who have been exploring the intersection of craft, performance art, and fine art since the turn of the twenty-first century. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Institute of Art in 1982 and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1989.

Exhibition History
  • "Nick Cave: Sojourn"--Denver Art Museum, 6/9/2013-9/22/2013
  • "Showing Off: Recent Modern and Contemporary Acquisitions"--Denver Art Museum, 5/17/2015 - 4/3/2016
  • 8/29/2017-present- Stampede: Animals in Art (Denver Art Museum)
  • “Stampede: Animals in Art” — Denver Art Museum, 9/10/2017

Some images in our online collection are at thumbnail size, in accordance with AAMD guidelines, because they are protected by copyright. The Denver Art Museum respects the rights of artists or their representatives who retain the copyright to their work. Other images represent the best photography available and should be used as reference images only. Please complete the Image Rights Request form if you want to request a high resolution image.