Nick Cave


Nick Cave (born 1959) is a contemporary African-American artist known for his unique fabric sculptures and performances. His iconic Soundsuits act as costumes meant to empower the person wearing them by concealing their race and gender. The work was initially made in reaction to the police beating of Rodney King in 1992.

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, the artist 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.


Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, among many others.


Related Works

  • In the collection of our sister gallery, form & concept, colorful hand-knit acrylic suits by Mark Newport reflect on gender, identity and conceptions of strength and vulnerability. Newport is the Head of Fiber at Cranbrook, where Cave received his MFA. View his work.