States Of Being

Made By Whites For Whites

Sep 04 – Oct 11, 2014
513 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011
Nick Cave

Works (Tap to zoom)

Press Release


Made By Whites For Whites


New York—Jack Shainman Gallery presents an exhibition of new work by Nick Cave at the gallery’s two Chelsea locations, opening Thursday, September 4th from 1-6 PM. Made by Whites for Whites and Rescue will be on view through Saturday, October 11, 2014 and will be accompanied by special programming. The two-part exhibition will be the artist’s fourth with the gallery.

On view at 524 West 24th Street will be Cave’s body of work Rescue. The series comprises sculptures that incorporate found ceramic dogs sitting on furniture within elaborate grottos or dreamlike dens. Dogs have historically been associated with loyalty, class, breed, commitment, and protection. More recently, the term “dawg” has played a role in hip-hop culture as a moniker for brotherhood, respect, and power.

In the Rescues, Cave focuses on a single canine that has quite literally been rescued from destruction, very much like an adopted pet. These dogs become the benevolent guardians of their self-contained worlds, focusing the spotlight on the forgotten and discarded. A Doberman lounges on a gold sofa while a small dog fiercely guards a wishbone on a shoeshine table. The armatures that envelop these animals correspond with large-scale wall based bas reliefs dripping with crystals, beads, and metal flowers.

Many of the works included in Made by Whites for Whites, on view at 513 West 20th Street, have formal similarities to the Rescues in that central found objects are presented within elaborate armatures built up with items from Cave’s familiar lexicon of ceramic birds and flowers, porcelain fruit, and copies of Capodimonte. However, the content is quite different. In Made by Whites for Whites, racially charged historical objects anchor the works such as the stereotypical representation of a black man with dark skin, big red lips, and white eyes in Untitled, 2014, or the Golliwog costumed mannequin in King of the Hill, 2014. These were once commonplace caricatures that infantilized and dehumanized the African American population.

This project began when Cave found a container at a flea market shaped like the head of a black man and labeled ‘Spittoon.’ He was shocked and began, “to rehabilitate the problematic loaded object and find a place of reverence and empowerment through reuse.” These remnants of another time hold a strange place in the public consciousness. They are too important to be discarded but too painful to be widely displayed. They persist at a distance across the country in the cultural gray area offlea markets and antique stores, potently saturating the American present. Cave treats these items with compassion while forcing the viewer to confront this problematic genre of mass-produced and widely disseminated collectibles. Following the artist’s unveiling of this new direction in his summer exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery’s newly launched 30,000 square foot exhibition space, The School, in Kinderhook, New York, these two exhibitions expand the breadth and content of Cave’s oeuvre while remaining inextricably linked to the reclaiming of found objects that has always been at the core of his work.

About the Artist

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 has said, "I have found my middle and now am working toward what I am leaving behind."

Cave was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 2014. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Nick Cave: Sojourn at the Denver Art Museum, Nick Cave: Freeport 006: at the Peabody Essex Museum, and Fantastic 2012, Lille3000, at the Tri Postal in Lille, France. In 2013 he worked with Creative Time and MTA Arts for Transit to present HEARDNY at Grand Central Station in New York City, a performance that transformed the commuter experience into a dream world occupied by 30 raffia horses activated by 60 dancers. Upcoming solo exhibitions include the St. Louis Museum of Art, MO in 2014, the Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, in 2015, which will be accompanied by a series of performances in Detroit, MI, and a major exhibition of new work at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA in 2016.

Cave’s work is part of many 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, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, among others.

Nick Cave: Epitome, a new monograph, will be released by Prestel on the occasion of this exhibition.


Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased that Nick Cave’s exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of programs that are free and open to the public.

Please RSVP to for any event that you would like to attend as space is limited.

Some events will be held in our private viewing space on the 7th floor of 513 West 20th Street.

There will be a greeter on the ground floor to guide you to the event.

Friday, September 5: Nick Cave and Mass MoCA curator Denise Markonish in conversation.

6PM at Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, 7th floor.

Wednesday, September 10: The New York Public Library is hosting An Art Bookseries free event with Nick Cave and Creative Time curator and author Nato Thompson.

6-8PMin the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street.

Friday, September 19: An Artifactual Journey with Philip J. Merrill of Nanny, Jack & Co.

6PM at Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, 7th floor.

Friday, October 10: Spoken Word Poetry by Urban Word NYC.

5:30 PM at Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, ground floor.

Upcoming exhibitions at the gallery include Kay Hassan at 513 West 20th street and El Anatsui at 524 West 24th street, both on view from October 18 – November 15, 2014.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 6PM. For additional information, please contact For press inquiries, please contact or Sutton PR at 212-202-3402.