Category Archives: Nerman Museum

“Soundsuit” by Nick Cave

Nick Cave Soundsuit

Photo: Nerman Museum

Where: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas.  

“I enjoy working with this sculpture because it challenges people’s preconceptions and stereotypes,” says Karen Gerety Folk, curator of education at the Nerman.  “It is a colorful, textile sculpture that has a human presence.”

Artist Nick Cave has created more than 100 “soundsuit” sculptures, so-named because of the rattles and other audible sounds they make when worn by a performer.  The multi-layered garments are uniquely individual and constructed of thousands of sequins, beads and other found materials.

The back of the soundsuit at the Nerman is mostly black and white with bold, geometric designs; the front of the sculpture is colorful and organic, all hand-sewn into fabric into a cape-like armature.  This soundsuit, like most of his works, is completely wearable.

“People have a strong, aesthetic attraction to it,” says Folk.  “This work definitely draws people into it.”

Nick Cave has Kansas City roots, having graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982.  He is currently the chairman of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Soundsuit was a gift to the Nerman from Marti and Tony Oppenheimer and the Oppenheimer Brothers Foundation in 2006.

Contact the Nerman for more information.