Back To Top

Gallery Exhibitions

Museum Exhibitions & Projects

Store

Artist Bio

Nari Ward

PRESS

Museum Magazine

August 31, 2017

PRESS

Artnet

May 18, 2017

PRESS

The New York Times

January 27, 2017

News

The New York Times

July 8 2016

News

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

June 25 2016

News

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

June 1 2016

News

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

April 30 2016

News

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

April 27 2016

News

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

April 16 2016

News

A Sense of Placeness High Line Magazine

April 14 2016

News

Homegrown philanthropy fuels the new Speed Art Museum The Art Newspaper

March 10 2016

News

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

February 21 2016

News

The Historical and Fictional Worlds of Nari Ward Hyperallergic

February 11 2016

News

Nari Ward with Nicole Smythe-Johnson Miami Rail

December 12 2015

News

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

December 4 2015

News

Book Signing with Nari Ward Pérez Art Museum Miami

December 3 2015

News

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

November 28 2015

News

Art Basel Week 2015 Guide: At the Museums Miami Herald

November 26 2015

News

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

October 30 2015

News

Nari Ward at Lehmann Maupin Art in America

October 30 2015

News

25 Most Collectable Midcareer Artists: Nari Ward Artnet

September 30 2015

News

See: Nari Ward's Breathing Directions New York Magazine

September 26 2015

News

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

September 24 2015

News

Nari Ward BOMB Magazine

September 17 2015

News

Nari Ward: Breathing Directions at Lehmann Maupin Elephant Magazine

September 16 2015

PRESS

Forbes

March 27, 2015

PRESS

Forbes

March 25, 2015

PRESS

Forbes

March 24, 2015

PRESS

Design & Trend

March 10, 2015

News

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

January 5 2015

PRESS

Artnet News

June 9, 2014

PRESS

Sculpture Magazine

June 2013

PRESS

Frieze

May 2013

News

Mousse Magazine Nari Ward interviewed by Anna Daneri

April 2013

News

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

February 14, 2013

PRESS

The New York Times

February 14, 2013

News

Whitewall Magazine Installation View: Nari Ward's 1993

February 1, 2013

PRESS

Whitewall

February 1, 2013

News

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

January 17 - April 21, 2013

PRESS

The Wall Street Journal

January 16, 2013

PRESS

ARTnews

January 2013

PRESS

The Brooklyn Rail

April 30, 2012

PRESS

New York Observer

April 27, 2012

PRESS

Huffington Post

April 8, 2012

News

Nari Ward Receives Rome Prize

April 2012

PRESS

Designboom

March 31, 2012

PRESS

Artinfo

March 27, 2012

PRESS

Modern Painters

January 31, 2012

PRESS

Philadelphia Weekly

November 2, 2011

PRESS

International Review of African American Art

November 30, 2010

PRESS

ARTnews

April 30, 2010

PRESS

Art in America

April 30, 2010

PRESS

Artforum

April 30, 2010

PRESS

The New York Times

April 2, 2010

PRESS

Frieze

December 31, 2008

PRESS

The New Yorker

November 24, 2008

PRESS

The New York Times

August 24, 2007

PRESS

Sculpture

March 31, 2006

PRESS

Sculpture

April 30, 2005

PRESS

Art in America

November 30, 2004

PRESS

V Magazine

December 31, 2001

PRESS

The New York Times

August 6, 2000

PRESS

The Observer

October 27, 1997

PRESS

The New York Times

August 10, 1997

PRESS

The Village Voice

October 9, 1996

PRESS

Flash Art

September 30, 1996

PRESS

Elle

June 30, 1995

The Wall Street Journal

January 16, 2013

Reclaiming a Moment of Grace
By Kimberly Chou


Twenty years ago, when he was an artist in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Nari Ward would collect abandoned baby strollers from empty parking lots, and not much else.


"Back then, you had to go [to the museum] and punch in," said Mr. Ward, now 49, who is known for his sculptural work involving found materials. "So every day they would see me coming in in the morning very early, and then at the end of the day, and if it was a good day, I would have six strollers. It got to a point where if I found a twin stroller, it was the best day of my life."


Having been inspired by the "particular witnessing" of a stray stroller amid the commuters at the 125th Street Metro North stop, Mr. Ward had started collecting them before he knew what he wanted to do with them, scanning the streets from 160th down to 116th.


"The curators started to get really worried," said Mr. Ward, whose studio was stacked nearly floor to ceiling with the baby carriers by the end of his residency. "At the end of the year you're supposed to do a show and I think they thought, 'What's this guy going to show? Maybe he's having a nervous breakdown.' "


Three hundred and sixty five strollers later, Mr. Ward's collection became the seminal work "Amazing Grace": shabby vehicles arranged with lengths of fire hose in the shape of a ship's hull. A recording of "Amazing Grace," by Mahalia Jackson, plays on a loop overhead. First installed by the artist in 1993 in a former firehouse on 141st Street, the piece conveyed both a sober perspective of what the neighborhood had endured—the crack epidemic, urban blight—and also hope for the future.


Beginning Wednesday, a new installation of "Amazing Grace" will open at the New Museum's annex gallery space, as the first element to be shown in the museum's group exhibition, "NYC 1993." The rest of the show will open Feb. 13, examining work made that year by artists living and working in New York, including Félix Gonzaléz-Torres, Mike Kelley and Byron Kim.


"The parameters for the exhibition are strangely specific," said curator Gary Carrion-Murayari. "We were looking at the objects that really defined what art meant at the moment. We were looking at artworks that felt like events—significant works, but also a specific experience for people who saw it that year."


"Amazing Grace" is not only a choice representative for the zeitgeist of that decade. Its meaning in the context of "NYC 1993" assumes further depth when one considers the changes its New York locales have undergone.


"This neighborhood has changed and Harlem has obviously changed radically, and Nari was watching it happen," Mr. Carrion-Murayari said. "The work does make sense in neighborhoods where there is social transformation happening, for better and for worse."


The New Museum played a significant role in launching Mr. Ward's career. Curator France Morin gave him his first major solo exhibition at the museum's old project space in SoHo, showing his piece "Carpet Angel," also in 1993.


This week's re-installation of "Amazing Grace" won't be the first: In 1995, it was remounted at the firehouse by curator and dealer Jeffrey Deitch, who had signed Mr. Ward to his gallery, Deitch Projects. In between, Mr. Ward had kept the piece in the firehouse, which he rented from the woman who owned it. She agreed to let him keep it there if he covered her taxes on the property. (In 1999, Mr. Ward and his family moved into the space and converted it to a full-time residence and studio.)


"I think one of the marks of the success of this piece is that it retains its power even when it's installed in a different country, in a different context," said Mr. Deitch, who recommended the work to the industrialist and art collector Dakis Joannou. As part of the Joannou collection, "Amazing Grace" has since been re-installed five other times, including in Athens and in Paris. The work accommodates the space it's in. In Italy, at Castello di Rivoli, Mr. Ward and his assistants scrapped the boat form and laid out the piece in a circle. At the New Museum, the strollers in the center of the formation are lashed with fire hose to the columns that cut through the middle of the space.


Although "Amazing Grace" conveys a certain power no matter where it's installed, viewers' reactions often differ depending on the locale. And witnessing that variety of responses has helped elucidate Mr. Ward's way of working.


"In Athens it was much more about history being a kind of monolith, looking at these strollers as evidence of a cultural history that they were involved in in their own life," he said. "In Italy it was a little bit the same way. In New York it was much more about the community and the sense of what was going on in the community at the time. That's the really important thing—it starts as a personal, immediate connection with what's going on around me, but the broader and bigger it becomes, the more powerful I think the work can be."