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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

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


As more museums come into bloom, the challenge becomes how to retain an institution's individual identity while speaking to the immediate environment. "Sun Splashed," the latest exhibition at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), goes a long way towards establishing a relationship with South Florida's Caribbean roots while retaining a resolutely high art perspective. The show — a survey of over two decades of work from Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-based artists Nari Ward — is comprised of installations, highly performative sculptural pieces, photographs, as well as other mix media works. 

 

"At the museum we're trying to speak to the Caribbean influences that run through Miami's culture, and Ward's work goes a long way in that respect as one of the most respected Jamaican artists today," explained PAMM Associate Curator Diana Nawi. Together with Ward, Nawi, and recently appointed Director Franklin Sirmans went through the arduous task of putting together a show that encapsulated the various themes and mediums that ran through the artist's career.

 

Despite the varied nature of the show, several key themes kept rearing their heads. Ward is inextricably fascinated with the Jamaican and Caribbean diaspora. Although he was born on Jamaica, it was the uptown streets of Harlem that raised him and formed much of his aesthetic sensibilities.

 

Yet, his homeland reappears throughout his work. For example, in Happy Smilers: Duty Free Shopping (1996) Ward recreates a New York/Jamaican storefront complete with an awning and sodas. As the viewers enter the space, they're greeted with the light sounds of a proto-reggae band. Though the men in the troupe were urban professionals, they enacted the role of a stereotypical blithe Jamaican bumpkin for financial gain.

 

"Acting the part wasn't just kitsch, it was about survival," imparted Ward.

 

That same dichotomy is present in a photographic series also titled Sun Splashed (2013) taken while Ward was living in Rome. The series portrays the artists in stereotypical Jamaican garb — complete with a straw hat and a bright pink shirt, always with a solemn look clutching a potted plant — shot at the homes of various well-to-do collectors in-and-around the Italian capital. In a more candid way, Ward plays on interplay between ethnic stereotypes, and acting out those same generalizations for personal gain. Though a much different context than his uncle's band, the same ethnic tensions are at play in the art market.

 

Ward's own personal struggle to establish his own identity in the face of a bureaucratic morass is perfectly encapsulated in Naturalization Drawing Table (2004). The Plexiglas table frames and the ten paged INS form with Ward's meticulous line drawings really gives the viewer a sense of the tremulous process. Ward began the process to establish dual citizenship back in 1996, but he admits that it was mostly sheer procrastination that dragged it out. When the piece is fully activated, notaries will stand behind the desk and have audience members fill out paper work, stamp, and seal the documents in order to receive an envelop with Ward's drawings. The quid-pro-quo aspect is meant to draw the attendant in to the artist's emotional frustration with the process.