Tag Archives: Akron Art Museum

Nick Cave – Treasures From Tchotkes

I caught the recent Nick Cave exhibit (Nick Cave: Feat.) at the Akron Art Museum on its next to last day. Much to my surprise, I was won over by his sparkly, glittery, tawdry junk shop filled pieces. It’s too bad I missed the community performances held as part of the exhibit.

The work on display seemed to fall into three categories: stationary 3D wall and floor pieces, sound suits which Cave wears for performances, and whole room installations. The work was created from 2010 to 2019. A video made for the exhibit showed Cave shopping for tchotkes at thrift stores, the construction of some pieces by a small army of workers, and clips of performances.

This detail of a large wall sculpture highlights the ceramic birds Cave likes to use. The base is a crocheted afghan, over which several layers of stuff are mounted. Cave said he uses bird statues because they were viewed as art in his childhood home.
Detail of metal tin lids from a sound suit.
Sound suit covered with thousands of buttons. Workers do the sewing.
Another sound suit that features bowls made with plastic beads and large safety pins. Such bowls were popular with crafters a while ago.
Room installation of painted bamboo curtains. I found the images showed up more clearly in photos than in person.

Here’s what Cave said about his work:

This work speaks to craft but exceeds the notion of craft. The materials allow people to connect personally, because we can all identify with objects that have surrounded us in our homes at some point. In that way, the work can be nostalgic, and there’s that moment when you realize you’re in a shared language with the people around you. The found objects bring out all kinds of personal history. They also raise the question of how we honor domestic crafts like crochet and needlepoint, which are becoming less and less a part of our day-to-day lives. I like celebrating these practices and things that have traditionally brought beauty into our lives.


Filed under Commentary, Exhibits, Inspiration

My Local Art Museum

Despite the loss of a third of its population over the past 20-30 years, Akron proudly lays claim to its own art museum, complete with a controversial modern addition.

The collection is a bit thin and most of the art is late 19th/20th century, but it contains some beauties. Here are some works that caught my eye on my last visit. (I should say they caught my eye AND photographed OK.)

You can review parts of the collection here.

Alvin Loving’s Untitled seems made for fabric, or maybe it was inspired by a quilt. The colors of the thin border lines make the diamonds vibrate, as the detail shows.

Sequinar by Marko Spalatin is half square triangle ready.

Some other works that caught my eye and camera.

Carl Gaertner’s Riverside Plant reminds me of the factories you see as you cross the Ohio River from Ashland, Kentucky, into West Virginia.

I love how the blue oval contrasts with the tan and red curved lines, and how the tan line colors are lighter inside the oval, in John Pearson’s SLG3.

On the Balcony by Frederick Frieseke reminds me of the work by Mary Cassatt and other Impressionist painters. I’m drawn to the variety of textures portrayed.

This photograph of an African woman is filled with strong textures. I like how they get smaller and more toned as you move up from the bottom. Unfortunately, I can’t read my photo of the artist’s name and I can’t find the work on the museum’s website.

(Update: thanks to Ann Scott, the photographer has been identified as Seydou Keita www.seydoukeitaphotographer.com)

You can see sculptures outside the museum from the large windows. Again, I can’t find the artist for this piece, but I like the sky reflections through the glass.

A real plus for my town’s museum is it’s free every Thursday. I guess they hope I’ll succumb and become a member.




Filed under Commentary