On October 26, 2017 approximately 20 UW-Whitewater art and design students traveled to Chicago to visit with Nick Caves at his studio and begin creating artworks to exhibit for the artists visit to campus.
The students were divided into groups and given an object by Nick Cave to instigate an artwork. Nick Cave's work often is fueled by an instigating object. It can take almost any form, but generally possesses a certain undefinable energy in itself.
In this project, Object as Instigator, the students have been divided into teams and assigned an object selected by Cave and his studio manager Bob Faust. The teams were then asked to work collaboratively to envision a work of art in any medium and/or media. The only stipulation has been that the instigator object must be carefully examined, contemplated, and understood by the group as they create their own work. Each team's project is on view in the Crossman Gallery.
Nick Cave 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. He says of himself, "I have found my middle and now am working toward what I am leaving behind." Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment.
In a 2013 feature in Interview Magazine, Cave said of his project HEARD•NY, a large scale performance in Grand Central Terminal organized by Creative Time, "I was really thinking of getting us back to this dream state, this place where we imagine and think about now and how we exist and function in the world. With the state of affairs on the world, I think we tend not to take the time out to create that dream space in our heads." This is relevant to his practice as a whole.
Cave recently opened a massive immersive installation Until at MASS MoCA, October 15, 2016 - August 2017, and had a solo exhibition Here Hear on view at Cranbrook Art Museum (2015). Other solo exhibitions include St. Louis Art Museum (2014-2015), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2014) and Denver Art Museum (2013).
Public collections include Brooklyn Museum; Crystal Bridges; Detroit Institute of Arts; High Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Norton Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Birmingham Museum of Art; De Young Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Orlando Museum of Art; Smithsonian Institution; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.
Cave has received several prestigious awards including: the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review Award (2014) in recognition of his Grand Central Terminal performance Heard - NY, Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008), Artadia Award (2006), the Joyce Award (2006), Creative Capital Grants (2002, 2004 and 2005), and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2001). Cave, who received his MFA at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, is Professor and Chair of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Nick Cave has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2006 when he had a show entitled Soundsuits. Other solo exhibitions at the gallery include Recent Soundsuits (2009), Ever-After (2011) and a two-part exhibition Made by Whites for Whites and Rescue (2014).
A $1 million gift from alumna Annette (Derge) Schuh '71 and her husband Dale supports an annual visit of a visual artist of a significant stature to campus.