IN A RECENT ARTNEWS CONVERSATION titled, ‘An Angel That Sits Upon Our Shoulders,’ Nick Cave pays tribute to gallery owner and artist Claude Simard (1956-2014) who died June 24. Simard was a partner in Jack Shainman Gallery, which represents Cave and a number of other prominent black artists including El Anatsui, Barkley Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall, Odili Donald Odita, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Carrie Mae Weems.
Cave delivered a eulogy at Simard’s memorial service emphasizing that in an art world increasingly driven by commerce, Simard had a generous spirit, nourished talent and helped to develop a diverse roster at Jack Shainman. In an interview with Barbara MacAdam, co-executive editor of ARTnews, Cave calls Simard a “visionary gallerist” and speaks candidly about the role of the artist and dealer.
“One thing he told me was, ‘It’s important [to have] one person that you look up to, that you can trust, that can come into your studio and tell you… whether it is good work.’ He challenged me to step up to the plate.”
— Nick Cave on Claude Simard, ARTnews
“One thing he told me was, ‘It’s important [to have] one person that you look up to, that you can trust, that can come into your studio and tell you point blank what the work is about, what’s going on, whether it is good work.’ He challenged me to step up to the plate,” says Cave in ARTnews.
“But I think he, and this is hard for me to say, knew that I have to deal with race, and this is a reality. …I knew that I have to take charge of my life, and to use art as a medium for change. I know, based on my relationship with him, what to do with carrying on his legacy. I know what to do with myself now because of my relationship with him. I know how to trust myself. I know how to deliver, I know what it takes, I know what I like to do based on him being upfront and clear with me.”
Opening Oct. 24 at Jack Shainman, Cave is dedicating his fall exhibition to Simard. CT
IMAGES: From left, Nick Cave (Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery) and Claude Simard (by Jackie Nickerson, Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery) via ARTnews.