Nick Cave

b. 1959 in Fulton, Missouri; lives and works in Chicago, Illinois

Nick Cave is a contemporary African-American artist known for his unique fabric sculptures and performances. His “Soundsuits” act as costumes, made in reaction to the police beating of Rodney King in 1992, meant to empower the person wearing them through concealing their race and gender. “I am an artist with a civic responsibility,” he says. “I [am invigorated] by dealing with these really hard issues around race and gun violence.” At Tamarind, Cave created images of Soundsuits on paper, sculptural imaginings that have yet to be created in three-dimensions.

Cave studied fiber arts at the Kansas City Art Institute before going on to receive his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1989. After finishing school, he became the director of the fashion program at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Through the decades that followed, Cave has continued to address issues of racial inequality in the United States and his heritage. His works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, among others.


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Coyote in Quarantine, 2020


Judy Chicago, In Praise of Prarie Dogs, 2019


Hayal Pozanti, 8 (million tons of plastic that go into the sea each year), 2018, 2018


Tara Donovan, Untitled (2016).


Charles Arnoldi, Breaking, 2013


Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Optimists, 2014


Nick Cave, Amalgam (brown), 2015


James Siena, Sagging Infected Triangular Grid, 2012


Kiki Smith, Untitled, 2009