Summer is over, the Fall season has begun, and my slacktitude must be kept in check. I kicked off my return to gallery hopping with a pair of Nick Cave exhibits...
Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has two concurrent exhibits in Chelsea showing groups of his signature Soundsuits. Ever-After is on view at Jack Shainman Gallery and For Now is on display at Mary Boone Gallery. Cave's Soundsuits are ornate, alien-like sculptural forms based on the artist's own figure. The life-size, fully concealing suits camouflage a wearer's body, "masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment," (from the show's press release).
For the first time in Ever-After, some of Cave's Soundsuits "interact within subtly narrative tableaux." The narratives connect viewers to "a social consciousness, summoning the echoes and voices which Cave believes have been paralyzed to silence and subjected to unfair altercations in an often hostile society." Upon entering the gallery, visitors are greeted by the work Mating Season, a line of nine tall, blonde, hirsute, bunny-like creatures "suggesting a sublime play of fornication, placed in multiple positions." In the installation Speak Louder, a group of seven black, glittering figures with giant, disk-like faces are conjoined by various swathes of fabric. The thousands of black buttons that cover the figures represent "the reflection of a memory, a thought, and the inheritance of personal identity." As the show's press release states, the overall effect examines "consciousness, contemplation, and deep exploration," much different themes from the exhibition at Mary Boone which "celebrates exuberance, chaos, and color."
As you'll see from my pics below, Cave's characters in the exhibit For Now, on view at Mary Boone Gallery, appear a bit more playful and celebratory, decked out in bright colors, fun fur, stuffed animals, sock monkeys, dollies, birdies, twigs, pipe cleaners, noise-makers, and repurposed, Cosby-worthy sweaters. Cave vivaciously describes the installation as a "psychedelic, functified freak show that is an accumulation of the decades from the perspective of voodoo woo-loo." The wild, lively, colorful bunch bring a lively burst of energy to the white, airy space.
Ever-After at Jack Shainman
For Now at Mary Boone