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Art Talks: Until | Nick Cave, Helga Davis, Bob Faust, Denise Markonish | An Artist Dialogue Series Event

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In celebration of Until, an enormous, elaborate journey through the workings of the artistic mind, the acclaimed artist Nick Cave discusses his newest work, currently on view at MASS MoCA, with the Museum's curator Denise Markonish,  Faust principal and creative director Bob Faust, and performer Helga Davis​.

Nick Cave and Bob Faust, Wallpaper (Until), 2016, Adhesive vinyl wallpaper, Installation view in Nick Cave, Until at MASS MoCA. Photo, James Prinz.
Nick Cave and Bob Faust, Wallpaper (Until), 2016, adhesive vinyl wallpaper,
i
nstallation view in Nick Cave: Until at MASS MoCA. Photo, James Prinz.

Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits”—exuberant, brightly colored wearable sculptures adorned with buttons, hair, toys and other found objects—have made him one of the best-known contemporary artists. The new book Until documents his most extensive work to date, turning his art inside out. Until fills MASS MoCA’s football field-sized gallery, without a single Soundsuit to be found. 

Detail of Crystal Cloudscape in Nick Cave, Until at MASS MoCA, 2016, mixed media. Photo, James Prinz.
Detail of Crystal Cloudscape in Nick Cave: Until 
at MASS MoCA, 2016, mixed media. Photo, James Prinz.

Instead Cave takes us inside the belly of one of his iconic sculptures with an immersive environment populated by a dazzling array of found objects, echoing some of Cave’s and America’s most confounding dilemmas: gun violence, racial inequality, injustice within our cities’ police departments, and death. An installation diary and numerous images reveal how an idea becomes reality. Until also incorporates special appearances by dancers, singer/ songwriters, and poets, as well as community forums, and opportunities for public debate and engagement. 

Transcripts of the first of these events accompany the book’s illustrations. This book features an essay by exhibition Curator Denise Markonish, commentary by David Byrne and Lori E. Lightfoot that contextualizes Cave’s work against today’s headlines, and an excerpt from Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. Powerful and transformative, Until promises to take its place among the era’s most important artistic statements.

Advance copies of Until (Delmonico / Prestel, 2017) are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event. 

Kinetic Spinner Forest and Crystal Cloudscape in Nick Cave, Until at MASS MoCA, 2016 mixed media. Photo, James Prinz.
Kinetic Spinner Forest and Crystal Cloudscape in Nick Cave: Until 
at MASS MoCA, 2016, mixed media. Photo, James Prinz.

Born in Missouri in 1959, Nick Cave studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, and trained with the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. His solo exhibitions include, Nick Cave, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Nick Cave: Sojourn at the Denver Art Museum; Nick Cave: The World is My Skin, Trapholt Museum, Denmark; Freeport 006: Nick Cave, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA; Fantastic 2012, Lille 3000, Tri Postal, Lille and HEARD•NY, a large scale performance in Grand Central Terminal organized by Creative Time. His work is held at major public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum; Crystal Bridges; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the High Museum; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Norton Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the De Young Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Orlando Museum of Art; the Smithsonian Institution; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Nick Cave has received several awards, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, Artadia Award, the Joyce Award, Creative Capital Grants, and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. He has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York since 2006, and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 James Prinz.
Hy-Dyve, 2016, 14-channel video installation with sound installation view in
Nick Cave: Until at MASS MoCA. Photo, James Prinz.

Helga Davis has been starring in the 25th anniversary re-staging of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s seminal work Einstein on the Beach. In addition to her work with Wilson, Helga Davis is both protagonist and muse for artists such as: Peter Greenaway, Hilton Als, Shara Nova, Courtney Bryan, Paola Prestini, Missy Mazzoli, Andrea Liberovici, Daniel Alexander Jones, and Toshi Reagon, all of whom have written works for her unique voice. She is the recipient of the 2014 BRIC Media Arts Fireworks Grant and completed her first evening-length piece, Cassandra. Her current projects include Requiem for a Tuesday with bass-baritone Davóne Tines and DROWN, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Yuka Honda. Helga Davis is also the 2016-17 artist in residence at National Sawdust and is the host of a new podcast, HELGA, on Q2 music. 

Nick Cave, Unarmed, 2016, cast bronze, metal, vintage beaded flowers. Photo, Grace Clark
Nick Cave, Unarmed, 2016, cast bronze, metal,
vintage beaded flowers. Photo, Grace Clark

Bob Faust is the principal and creative director for Faust, a cultural branding and communications studio whose work straddles the line between art and design. His collaborative and non-secular approach to his work results in functionally expressive visual experiences that inspire change and instigate tangible actions. He has been recognized as a design leader nationally and internationally and has received many accolades and awards from publications and institutions such as Communication Arts, Print and How magazines, the Chicago Design Museum, Society of Typographic Arts and Under Consideration. As well as an artist in his own right, Faust is also the studio/special projects director for artist Nick Cave, where he both collaborates on exhibition design as well as produces Cave's performance works. He currently serves on the Appleton Coated Design Council, the School of the Art Institute's Fashion Council and the board of directors for Riverside Arts Center. 

Denise Markonish is the curator at MASS MoCA, where her exhibitions include Nick Cave: Until (catalogue, Prestel) Explode Every Day: An Inquiry Into the Phenomena of Wonder(catalogue, DelMonico Books/Prestel); Jim Shaw: Entertaining Doubts; Teresita Fernandez: As Above So Below (catalogue); Oh, Canada, the largest survey of contemporary Canadian art (catalogue, MIT Press); Nari Ward: Sub Mirage Lignum (catalogue); Inigo Manglano-Ovalle: Gravity is a force to be reckoned with (catalogue, D.A.P); These Days: Elegies for Modern Times and Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape (catalogue, MIT Press). She also co-edited with Susan Cross the book Sol LeWitt: 100 Views (Yale University Press). She has taught at Williams College and the Rhode Island School of Design and is the head of the advisory committee for the SETI Institute’s artist in residence program. Denise Markonish is currently working on projects with Elizabeth King, Tanja Hollander, Sarah Oppenheimer, Anya Gallaccio and Glenn Kaino.

Initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni in 2004, Artist Dialogues Series provide an open forum for understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. Artists are paired with critics, curators, gallerists, writers or other artists to converse about art and the potential of exploring new ideas.

The event is free and advanced registration is recommended. 

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