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Nari Ward

PRESS

Museum Magazine

August 31, 2017

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Artnet

May 18, 2017

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The New York Times

January 27, 2017

News

The New York Times

July 8 2016

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Nari Ward brings Mango Tourists and other exotics to the Barnes Foundation The Philadelphia Inquirer

June 25 2016

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Nari Ward: The story behind an artwork in the artist's own words Modern Painters

June 1 2016

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Sculpture Finds a Parking Space on the High Line Wall Street Journal

April 30 2016

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Sculpture Finds a Parking Space on the High Line Wall Street Journal

April 27 2016

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An Artist and a Poet Capture Death in a Hospice Room T Magazine

April 16 2016

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A Sense of Placeness High Line Magazine

April 14 2016

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Homegrown philanthropy fuels the new Speed Art Museum The Art Newspaper

March 10 2016

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Video: Nari Ward show at Pérez Art Museum Miami Miami Herald

February 21 2016

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The Historical and Fictional Worlds of Nari Ward Hyperallergic

February 11 2016

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Nari Ward with Nicole Smythe-Johnson Miami Rail

December 12 2015

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Nari Ward’s found object sculptures explore history and power Financial Times

December 4 2015

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Book Signing with Nari Ward Pérez Art Museum Miami

December 3 2015

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Nari Ward Looks Back at Two Decades of Work in "Sun Splashed" at PAMM

November 28 2015

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Art Basel Week 2015 Guide: At the Museums Miami Herald

November 26 2015

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In 'Breathing Directions,' Nari Ward Gathers Layers of African-American History New York Times

October 30 2015

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Nari Ward at Lehmann Maupin Art in America

October 30 2015

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25 Most Collectable Midcareer Artists: Nari Ward Artnet

September 30 2015

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See: Nari Ward's Breathing Directions New York Magazine

September 26 2015

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Timeless Symbols Pack Nari Ward’s Sculptures with Meaning The Creators Project

September 24 2015

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Nari Ward BOMB Magazine

September 17 2015

News

Nari Ward: Breathing Directions at Lehmann Maupin Elephant Magazine

September 16 2015

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Forbes

March 27, 2015

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Forbes

March 25, 2015

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Forbes

March 24, 2015

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Design & Trend

March 10, 2015

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Nari Ward’s "Divination X" to Grace Gardner Museum Façade Boston Magazine

January 5 2015

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Artnet News

June 9, 2014

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Sculpture Magazine

June 2013

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Frieze

May 2013

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Mousse Magazine Nari Ward interviewed by Anna Daneri

April 2013

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New York Times Review 'NYC 1993' Exhibition at New Museum

February 14, 2013

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The New York Times

February 14, 2013

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Whitewall Magazine Installation View: Nari Ward's 1993

February 1, 2013

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Whitewall

February 1, 2013

News

New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Nari Ward: Amazing Grace

January 17 - April 21, 2013

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The Wall Street Journal

January 16, 2013

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ARTnews

January 2013

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The Brooklyn Rail

April 30, 2012

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New York Observer

April 27, 2012

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Huffington Post

April 8, 2012

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Nari Ward Receives Rome Prize

April 2012

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Designboom

March 31, 2012

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Artinfo

March 27, 2012

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Modern Painters

January 31, 2012

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Philadelphia Weekly

November 2, 2011

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International Review of African American Art

November 30, 2010

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ARTnews

April 30, 2010

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Art in America

April 30, 2010

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Artforum

April 30, 2010

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The New York Times

April 2, 2010

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Frieze

December 31, 2008

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The New Yorker

November 24, 2008

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The New York Times

August 24, 2007

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Sculpture

March 31, 2006

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Sculpture

April 30, 2005

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Art in America

November 30, 2004

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V Magazine

December 31, 2001

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The New York Times

August 6, 2000

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The Observer

October 27, 1997

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The New York Times

August 10, 1997

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The Village Voice

October 9, 1996

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Flash Art

September 30, 1996

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Elle

June 30, 1995

Nari Ward: Breathing Directions at Lehmann Maupin

Elephant Magazine


Text by Cat Gough

Jamaican born artist Nari Ward is a natural chronicler. A systematic collector of urban materials, Ward triumphs found, everyday objects as concealed symbols of latent history and personal journeys. This week, New York’s Lehmann Maupin opened a solo exhibition of his latest works, Breathing Directions.


The dramatic sculptures in this exhibition hail from Ward’s visit to a church in Georgia, where the artist found himself standing on a highly charged piece of American history — hole riddled floorboards. Cut into the floorboards in the 1850s and 60s, the holes formed an integral breathing channel in part of a secret network of underground routes for slaves to clandestinely escape from slave owners. In Breathing Directions, Ward traces how these seemingly insignificant details of every day surroundings can at once reveal voices lost to history.

This body of work is certainly in keeping with Ward’s many previous pieces, that are often playful sculptures made from urban findings, such as his awkwardly piled collection of disused prams in Amazing Grace, or the delicately arranged collection of disparate wheels in Land and Landings. Ward traditionally offers a gritty take on issues of loss, race and poverty.

In Breathing Directions, Ward leaves a louder trace of his performative gesture within his sculptures — puncturing geometric patterns into copper and applying patena to the soles of his feet, before stepping onto the sculptures. These punctured geometric patterns form the focal point of Breathing Panels where, alongside his footprints, and punctured holes, Ward seems to have scored an impression of sun-like rays onto the copper. It feels like the viewer is looking up through the breathing holes within the church floorboards, whilst rays of light shine ever-so-hopefully through into the darkness.

In Spellbound, Ward presents a disused upright piano, reminiscent of the kind used in school assemblies or ballet classes. The piano stands in an isolated space, behind a bare blue bulb, which dangles on a wire from the gallery ceiling. Embedded into the heavily varnished wood of this piano are hundreds of nails, upon which hang hundreds of individual keys. For Ward, these symbolise latent histories and disused places. The keys hang expectantly on their individual nails, as if waiting to be collected by their owner and popped back into their rightful place — in a jeans pocket, or on a keyring. But they seem to be ultimately forgotten, or no longer acknowledged, and continue just to hang on their nails silently.

This explosive feeling of growing latency is manifested throughout Breathing Directions. Ward demonstrates that whilst forgotten or no longer acknowledged, objects resiliently exist. So too, he points out, does a conveniently forgotten national history.

Nari Ward: Breathing Directions is showing at Lehmann Maupin until 1 November 2015