‘The Color Is’ Fashion Exhibit Opens at DuSable Black History Museum
“Nick Cave and Jack Cave: The color is fashion show, created by internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Nick Cave and his brother fashion designer Jack Cave, will bring a unique collection of avant-garde and haute couture-inspired fashion to the Roundhouse at the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center. The exhibition which opens to the public on August 27, 2022 will run until November 27, 2022 and is in partnership with MCA Chicago and the groundbreaking retrospective exhibition « NICK CAVE: EVEN MOREwhich is currently on view at the MCA until October 2, 2022. This is the first time these wearable works will be publicly installed and the DuSable is the first museum in the world to display the fashion collections of Nick Cave or Jack Cave.
“I am delighted to share the work of my career in the city that I have chosen. I don’t take the gravity of this moment for granted,” Nick Cave said. “From the MCA to the DuSable Museum and beyond, this community and citywide project is the realization of a dream that could only come true in Chicago, this way, with this brilliant team and in all this big city.
“The color is” will consist of 40-45 couture looks and fashion items created by Nick Cave and Jack Cave and a number of specialist collaborators. All works, including head-to-toe garments, were made from a wide variety of materials, including beads, yarn, sequins, upcycled textiles, and custom prints. The sets feature an intricate layering that is emblematic of human universality, highlighting intricacy, complexity, color and uniqueness. According to Nick and Jack Cave, the clothes are genderless, and the more than 400 individual items can be composed into any number of looks, all designed and crafted by the artists.
“The color is” also contains an educational component that highlights the themes, references and history of the exhibition through digital animations, film montages, detailed explanatory texts and high-resolution still images. There will be surprise audio-visual items featured throughout the exhibit as well as on the DuSable Museum website and the Bloomberg Connects app. All the objects in the exhibition were created both for “The color is” live performances and “The color is” exhibition as a companion exhibition to NICK CAVE EVEN MORE and are the most recent body of work created by Nick Cave, often referencing works from his retrospective archive of contemporary art. Pieces were created within the last 9-12 months.
“I’m proud to be able to showcase so many facets of the Black experience through fashion, especially alongside my brother, Nick,” said Jack Cave. “The process of being able to combine our two individual styles and work them into one fluid exhibit that educates and celebrates everything from sustainability, queer liberation and black presence in mainstream high fashion has been an honor.”
“We are thrilled and honored to work with these brilliant artists to exhibit their incredible wearable works of art at DuSable. This unique exhibit and accompanying educational activities are a great example of our goals and inspiration for our recent rebranding as a museum and education center. We recognize the importance of showcasing the personal creative journeys of Black artists as well as the cultural influences that influence their art and of sharing this vision with young people and the communities from which they come. Nick and Jack Cave’s imperative to bring their work to the heart of the black community expresses not only their personal philosophy but also the mission of DuSable. We are also delighted to continue our partnership with the MCA in mounting this exhibition for the duration of EVEN MORE, which allows visitors to experience Nick’s work in both locations and from multiple angles – a groundbreaking approach that stems from our strong collaborative partnership,” said Perri Irmer, President and CEO of the DuSable Museum.
“The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center celebrates the multi-layered elements of black culture in which the brilliant work of Nick Cave and Jack Cave is steeped,” said Danny Dunson, Director of Curatorial Services and Community Partnerships. “Our presentation of The color is, positions the artistic practices of Nick Cave and Jack Cave at the heart of Chicago’s African-American community. The South Side community represents what continues to inspire both Cave brothers as artists and activists.
Fashion is a natural part of the Cave brothers’ artistic practice. Growing up with five aunts who sewed, Nick and Jack Cave had an early interest in material culture and construction. The brothers are inspired by the intimate and whimsical interiors of their grandparents’ home which contained African American craft traditions, such as quilting and crocheting. Nick and Jack Cave both studied fiber arts as undergraduates at the Kansas City Art Institute, where they first learned to sew. In the 1980s, the brothers would create fashion shows together.
“The color is “The exhibit was curated for the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center by Danny Dunson, Director of Curatorial Services and Community Partnerships; made by Martin Giese, Vice President of Exhibits and Collections, and Brenda Liboy, Senior Exhibits Designer. The exhibition has been in development since 2021 and was first presented as a live performance at The Art Edge gala produced and presented by the MCA and held in the historic Roundhouse of the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center, designed by Daniel Burnham. “The color is» is a complementary exhibition to “NICK CAVE: FOR OTHER MOREa city-wide celebration of the Chicago-based artist.