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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

Sculpture


Sculpture
May 2005

Nari Ward, Deitch Projects
By Michael Amy

Nari Ward constructs his sculpture mostly from discarded objects, His open approach to materials leads to startling juxtapositions, and his ambiguous message touches on poverty, politics, and identity, As an artist from Jamaica who lives and works in Harlem, Ward confronts these issues on a daily basis.

The most striking work in his recent exhibition, "St. Peter's Odyssey Salon," was Reading Room, which combines scent, sound, and strong visuals. In this ensemble, the tops of a long, wooden table and of 12 surrounding stools are covered with coarse salt and pieces of dried codfish laid out in symmetrical patterns somewhat reminiscent of Early Christian "opus sectile" floors. Each stool sits in front of a large folio taken from the catalogue of early Italian paintings in the Robert Lehman collection-the pages themselves are framed, each place setting contained within a glass and aluminum case balanced on top of two cans of Parrot: Sweetened Condensed Filled Dairy Product. Situated in the bare, brick basement of the gallery, the work exuded spiritual meaning. The catalogue spreads show black and white reproductions of Madonna and Child paintings by the likes of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Sana di Pietro, and Giovanni Bellini, accompanied by written entries, which are read out loud by Ward in English and Jamaican patois. The 12 stools, in conjunction with the table, may refer to the Last Supper. Christ is represented as a child in the reproductions and perhaps symbolized by the pieces of fish embedded in salt. Mary's role as nurturer is referred to by the reproductions and by the cans' dairy contents, which are sweet, like the Virgin's milk. The poverty of the early Church is alluded to by the starkness of the' handmade furniture.

Another table, of thick, soiled Plexiglas, formerly served as a large desk for office workers on the top floor of the gallery. Naturalization Drawing Room includes INS Naturalization' Application Forms covered with dense linear abstract drawings displayed upright between Plexiglas panels. Having decided to apply for American citizenship, Ward has mixed feelings about the process, especially in light of the political and social upheavals in the U.S. following 9/11. Heightened nationalistic fervor and growing intolerance have hit immigrants hard. In another work, Ward, who has a great sense of humor, suggests a way of burning Old Glory into one's skin. Glory is composed of three beat-up oil barrels, which are soldered together, placed on their sides, and split lengthwise so that the top half can be raised to reveal a tanning bed covered with a Stars and Stripes pattern. Branding carries alternatively playful or painful resonances for a black man: black people have little use for tanning beds, but historically their skin was seared by the branding iron, marking them as slaves. A maze consisting of white towels suspended from strings and decorated with slabs of tar-perhaps alluding to charred pieces of skin-led to the tanning salon.

At the entrance to the gallery stood three sculptures from the "Copulation Works" series, built from sawed-up wood doors, rubber roofing membrane, and feather bales. Although these works resemble precariously balanced lifeboats pieced together by refugees, the geometrically reconfigured doors reference couples performing sexual acts on top of a feather bed, as the titles Doggy, 69, and Missionary suggest. These sculptures are covered with sticky motifs created by inserting slowly melting lollipops into holes drilled into the doors and applying flat black geometric rubber forms onto the wood and the feather bales. The lollipops introduce the idea of sucking and licking, playfully reinforcing the abstract erotic charge, which unfolds under the watchful eye of the Holy Ghost, a huge geometric wall drawing executed with silver marker on roofing membrane. Behind this drawing, the backs of over 300 television sets projected from another wall to create a huge horizontal rectangular relief sculpture, Air Plane Tears, a meditation on mass consumerism and the media. Ward's work, though rough in appearance, can be deeply engaging.