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Nari Ward

PRESS

Museum Magazine

August 31, 2017

PRESS

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

A Sense of Placeness

High Line Magazine


“I always feel like when I make something, the more absurd it is, the more potential for symbolism and meaning it gains. — Nari Ward

 

CECILIA ALEMANI: CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SMART TREE, YOUR PROJECT FOR THE HIGH LINE?

 

Nari Ward: When I first went for a site visit on the High Line, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but wanted to investigate the place. There was one moment in particular that struck me: I saw a tenement building next to the park, and looking inside it, where you would normally see furniture, curtains - people's lives - someone had turned it into a parking garage. And seeing these license plates and cars, it triggered a memory from when I was growing up: My dad worked for a university in Jamaica, and he would drive their van most of the time, but he always wanted a car for himself. So he bought two cars that he was going to fix up, and he parked them in front of the yard - but never got around to fixing them. They sat there for years, and fifteen years later when I went back, they were still there - and one of them had a lime tree growing out of it! That strange juxtaposition of the displaced cars, with the displaced tree, gave me the idea of trying to reconfigure that memory for the High Line.

 

I chose a Smart car because I didn't want a large­scale vehicle; I wanted something really discrete, that didn't feel overwhelming, and that referenced the body in a certain way. I wanted it to be about place-ness, or maybe even stasis, which led me to propose that the car wouldn't have wheels, but would be fixed, like a building. Because I also wanted to acknowledge the development that's happening around the High Line - there's a great deal of construction going on.

 

The cinderblocks are also a memory element, because on a lot of islands, in so-called "third world" countries, and even in some parts of the U.S., you'll see people building with cinder blocks, where the rebar is left sticking out of the top of the building, with the assumption that the next generation will build on top. It's a suggestion of possibility. The tire treads that cover the car are also really important in this regard, because they reference movement, which consumes the piece. I like the absurdity of the car being a giant wheel, and that wheel being somehow fixed in place. I always feel like when I make something, the more absurd it is, the more potential for symbolism and meaning it gains.

 

DO YOU THINK THERE IS ALSO A REFERENCE TO THE HIGH LINE ITSELF, BEING A FORMER RAILROAD, AND A PARK MAINLY EXPERIENCED IN MOTION?

 

Right. There are so many elements of movement, all around the park - the history of the place, the highway underneath, the sense of action that's all around. But at the same time, it wasn't about being of a specific place, but the question of place-ness. I think the tension between the tire treads and the cinder blocks is about this question of place-ness.

 

CAN YOU TALK A BIT ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS WORK IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE?

 

Most of my previous public projects have been in some response to a community. In this context, normally you're a guest, and you work with an organization that already has a relationship with folks, with the community there. The High Line project was different, because it felt like here the primary force was instead coming from the site itself, this place, so maybe that's why it became about memory, and about the question of place­ness, how different visual bleeds of information can exist in the space, like the idea of the road, nature, and transportation, and movement being all in a really, really intense dialogue. You become aware of it there.

 

I noticed when I was on the High Line, that you actually become more aware of your body, even at rest. It's not like Central Park, whose rhythm is that nature is just there. The High Line's rhythm is that you're aware of your dialogue with nature because of the surrounding flux. The High Line becomes even more special and strange because of that - you can choose to be there, with nature, but you can't ignore the intensity of energy of the city in such close proximity. That's really what I wanted the piece to elaborate on.