Pattern ID at the Kemper: Nick Cave

Saw a fantastic and important show yesterday at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. It's called Pattern ID. "Over the last two decades, artists have increasingly turned to pattern and dress as a language with which to communicate who they are and where they come from. The experiences of culture clash, immigration, and multi-ethnicity in our globalized world have driven artists to use this visual language to chart their personal and communal histories."

There are many layers of meaning in this for me as an artist and teacher. Culture, class, gender, race, sexuality; all are explored. These are mostly artists of color, artists from around the globe. They seek to revise the canon of Western art history with their stories, and do it boldly and vividly, using traditional and non-traditional materials. I want to take my young nephews to the show. The spectacle of color, pattern, and shiny things will attract their little attention spans, but more importantly, they will be exposed to these important artists and issues who are working their way into our lexicon.

This particular piece is one of the soundsuits by Nick Cave, 2009, metal flowers and armature, fabric with appliqued beading, sequins, and embroidery, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery in NYC.