Galleria Continua
San Gimignano
Beijing
Les Moulins
Habana

Born in St. Andrews (Jamaica) 1963.

Lives and works in New York.


Nari Ward (b. 1963, St. Andrew, Jamaica; lives and works in New York) is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded material found and collected in his neighborhood. He has repurposed objects such as baby strollers, shopping carts, bottles, doors, television sets, cash registers and shoelaces, among other materials. Ward re-contextualizes these found objects in thought-provoking juxtapositions that create complex, metaphorical meanings to confront social and political issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. He intentionally leaves the meaning of his work open, allowing the viewer to provide his or her own interpretation.

 One of his most iconic works, Amazing Grace, was produced as part of his 1993 residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem in response to the AIDS crisis and drug epidemic of the early 1990s. For this large-scale installation, Ward gathered more than 365 discarded baby strollers—commonly used by the homeless population in Harlem to transport their belongings—which he bound with twisted fire hoses in an abandoned fire station in Harlem. Echoing through the space was an audio recording of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s Amazing Grace on repeat. The lyrics speak about redemption and change, generating optimism and a sense of hope. As with most of his work, this installation explored themes informed by the materials, community, and location in which he was working. The work has since been recreated at the New Museum Studio 231 space in 2013, and in several locations across Europe. With each change of context, the significance of the work changes as each community differently associates with these found objects.

Nari Ward received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989, and an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2017); The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2016); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2015); Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2015); Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge, LA (2014); The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia (2011); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA (2011); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2002); and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2001, 2000). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include Objects Like Us, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (forthcoming, 2018-2019); UPTOWN: nastywomen/badhombres,El Museo del Barrio, New York (2017); Black: Color, Material, Concept, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015); The Great Mother, the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Palazzo Reale, Milan (2015); The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015); NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum, New York (2013); Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Rotunda, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); the Whitney Biennial, New York (2006); and Landings, Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2003). Ward’s work is in numerous international public and private collections, including Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Istanbul Modern; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Ward has received numerous honors and distinctions such as the Joyce Award, The Joyce Foundation, Chicago (2015), and the Rome Prize, American Academy of Rome (2012), and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Ward has also received commissions from the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Study and Teaching

1992 MFA, Brooklyn College, City University, Brooklyn, US

1991 BA, Hunter College, City University, New York, US

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019

Nari Ward: We the People, New Museum, New York, US  (forthcoming)  

2018

Nari Ward, Villa Pacchiani, Santa Croce sull’Arno, IT  (forthcoming)

Correctional, Lehmann Maupin, Seoul, KR

2017

Sun Splashed, ICA, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US

Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, US

TILL, LIT, Lehmann Maupin, New York, US

2016

Smart Tree, High Line Project, New York, US

Sun Splashed, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, US

2015

So Called, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, US

Sun Splashed, Pérez Museum of Art, Miami, US

Breathing Directions, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, US

2014

Rooted Communities: Nari Ward, Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Baton Rouge, LA, US

SHADOW DUST AND A PROMISE OF FUTURE, MiBAC Centro arti visive di Pietrasanta, IT

2013

Nari Ward, Chateau de Blandy-les-Tours, Blandy, FR

Nari Ward, Museo d’arte contemporanea, Rome, IT

Iris Hope Keeper, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, IT

2012

Liberty and Orders, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, US

2011

We the People, fabric Workshopand Museum, Philadelphia, US

Domino Man, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, IT

Sub Mirage Lignum, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA, US

2010

Nari Ward: Re-Presence, Nerman Museum, Kansas, USA, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, US

2007

Salvage Research Soul Training, University of Connecticut, US

2006

The Refinery X: A small twist of fate, Palazzo delle Papesse-Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, IT

2004

Saint Peter's Odyssey Salon, Deitch Projects, New York, US

Great American Revival, Past Presence: Reflection on the Main Line, Main Line Art Center, Lower Merion, US

2002

Episodes, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, US

2001

Attractive Nuisance, GAM; Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Torino, IT

Illuminated Sanctuary of Empty Sins, Arte all’Arte, Poggibonsi, IT

Geography: Bottle Messenger (Lobby Installation), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US

2000

Rites of Way, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US

1997

Nari Ward, Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee, US

1996

Happy Smilers: Duty Free Shopping, Deitch Projects, New York, US

1995

Amazing Grace, Harlem Firehouse Space, New York, US

1994

Idle/Drift, Le Magasin, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, FR

1993

Carpet Angel, The New Museum, New York, US

Amazing Grace, Harlem Firehouse Space, New York, US

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019

 The Warmth of Other Suns, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC, US (forthcoming) 

2018

We the People: New Art from the Collection, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, US (forthcoming)

Open Spaces, The City of Kansas City; Kansas City, MO, US

Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, Long Island, NY, US

Nari Ward: Scapegoat, The Fields at Art Omi Sculpture Park, Ghent, NY, US

2018 Ceremonial Exhibition: Work by New Members and Recipients of Awards, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, US

Objects Like Us, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, US

DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA, US

Worlds Otherwise Unknown, Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO 

ICA Collection: Entangled in the Everyday, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, US

American Landscape, Lehmann Maupin, New York, US

Reclamation! Pan-African Works from the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA, US

Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, US

2017

Out of Sight! Art of the Senses, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, US

Now Here is Nowhere, Italian Cultural Institute, New York, IT

Fingerspitzengeühl, Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, US

Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale the Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, Part 1, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, US

20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, US

Spots, Dots, Pips, Tiles: An Exhibition About Dominoes, Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL, US

UPTOWN: nasty women/bad hombres, El Museo del Barrio, New York, US

Uptown, Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, New York, US

Pledges of Allegiance, Creative Time, NY, US

Alien Nations, Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY, US

2016

Radical Materiality, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Hong Kong, CN

C.Ar.D 2016, Consorzio Agrario Aguzzano, Piacenza, IT

2015

Future Seasons Past, curated by Manuel E. Gonzalez, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, US

2014

Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, Perez Art Museum Miami, FL, US

Food, SESC Pinheiros, Sao Paulo, BR

2013

The idea of Realism, American Academy in Rome, IT

NYC1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum, New York, US

Surviving Sandy, Dedalus Foundation, Brooklyn, NY, US

Justice Blind, Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation’s Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, US

Inning Stretch, Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY, US

Nasher Museum and the 50th Anniversary, The Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC

Blacks in Black and White, Brand New Gallery, Milan, IT

We the People, Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY, US

Wall, Canzani Center Gallery, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, US

Food: Reflections on Mother Earth, Agriculture and Feeding, Musée Ariana, Geneva, CH

2012

Food, Musée Ariana, Geneva, CH

Blacks in Black and White, Brand New Gallery, Milan, IT

I Followed You into the Water, Lehmann Maupin, New York, US

28 Days, Justina M Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, CA

Points of View: Twenty Years of Artists in Residence, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA, US

MuMo (Mobile Museum), L’Art à l’Enfance, France; Cameroon; Benin; Senegal

2011

Art Unlimited, Art Basel, CH

Terre vulnerabili, Hangar Bicocca, Milan, IT

10 Hands 100 Fingers, Galleria Continua, Beijing, CH

2010

Trasparenze. L’arte per le energie rinnovabili, Macro, Roma, IT

Rem(a)inders, Galleria Continua, Beijing, CN

Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Rotunda, Guggenheim Museum, New York, US

2009

30 Seconds off an Inch, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, US

Rockstone and Bootheel: Contemporary West Indian Art, Real Art Ways, Hartford, US

Neo Baroque, University of Western Ontario Art Gallery, CA

2008

Prospect 1 New Orleans, New Orleans, US

2007

Dream and Trauma, Kunsthalle Wien and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, AT

Generation 1.5. Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY, US

For the Love of the Game, Race and Sport in America, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, US

2006

Wherever We Meet, Spazio Oberdan, Milan, IT

Meditations in an Emergency, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, US

2006 Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, US

Be the Artists Guest, Musee d’art moderne Grand Duc Jean, LU

Dirty Yoga: Taipei Biennial, Taipei Museum, Taipei, TW

Echigo- Tsumari Art Triennial, Echigo-Tsumari, JP

2005

New Labor, Neutral Capital Collection, Columbia University Leroy Neiman Gallery, New York, US

Faith, Real Art Ways, Hartford, US

Yokohama Triennial, Yokohama, JP

Sharjah International Biennial 7, Sharjah, AE

Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas, US

2004

Postcards for Cuba: A Selection from the 8th Havana Biennial, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, NO

Garvey Carts Curator's Eye, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, JM

Monument to Now: The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens, GR

2003

Confabulations, Hunter College Leubsdorf Art Gallery, New York, US

Whispering Lights, 8th Havana Biennial, Havana, CU

In Honor Of, Arte Continua, San Gimignano, IT

Pathmarker, Site Lines, The Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, US

Landings, Documenta XI, Kassel, DE

Fortress, Spoleto Festival, Charleston, US

2001

Transforms, Roman Theater, Trieste, IT

The Overexcited Body, Museo dell’ Arengario Piazza del Duomo, Milan, IT

Crossing the Line, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY, US

A Room Is a World, Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Spiritual America, Audiello Fine Arts,New York, US

2000

Playgrounds & Toys, Art for the World, UNI Dufour building, The University of Geneva, Geneva, CH

Quiet in the Land, Projecto Axe, Museo de Arte Moderne, Bahia, Salvador, BR

Emerald Necklace Project, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US

Geography; Tree, collaborative work with Ralph Lemon, performed at the Yale Repertory Co., New Haven, US, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, US and Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, US

Quotidiana, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Torino, IT

1999

Streetlife, Project Row House, Houston, US

Passages: Contemporary Art in Transition, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, US

1998

I Love New York, Crossover of Contemporary Art, Museum Ludwig, Koln, DE

Global Vision; New Art from the 90s, Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece

Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, US

Arkipelag, From Crash Between Islands to In(ter)fection, Sjohistoriska Museet, Stockholm, SE

Edge of Awareness, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, United Nations Hall of Visitors, New York, USA, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, USA, and SESC de Pompeia, Sao Paulo, BR

1997

Geography, collaborative work with Ralph Lemon, performed at Yale Repertory Co., New Haven, USA, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, US

Islas, Centro Atlantico De Arte Moderno, Gran Canaria, Spain, La Granja, Teneriffe, Spain, and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Seville, ES

Quiet in the Land: Everyday Life, Contemporary Art, and the Shakers, Institute of Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art, Portland, USA, and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US

Untitled Depot, Insite 1997, Tijuana, MEXICO and San Diego, US

Projects: How to Build and Maintain the Virgin Fertility of Our Soul, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, US

Pursuit of the Sacred; Evocations of the Spiritual in Contemporary African American ArtBetty Rymer Gallery, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, US

Awards

1998

Willard L. Metcalf Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA

Bessie Award in Visual Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, New York, USA

1997

Penny McCall Foundation, New York, USA

1996

Pollock Krasner Foundation, New York, USA

Artist-in-Residence, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community,Glouchester, UK

1994

The National Endowment for the Arts, Washington DC, USA

Wheeler Foundation Merit Fellowship, New York, USA

1992

John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, New York, USA

Artist-in-Residence, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA

1990

Enrico Donati Foundation, Ridgefield, USA

Public collections

Nari Ward's work is in  numerous international public and private collections, including Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Istambul Modern; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney of American Art, New York.

Periodicals

2015

SCHLAFLOS SLEEPLESS,21erhaus Agnes Husslein-Arco, giugno 2015 Pp 278

2014

SHADOW DUST AND A PROMISE OF FUTURE,MiBAC Centro arti visive di Pietrasanta,2014 Pp 66-71

2010

Shapiro, Steve. “Lost and Found Department: Nari Ward’s Art Surprises at the Nerman Museum.” KCT Tribune, June 2010

Bryant, Eric. “Reviews: New York”, ARTnews, May 2010

Ruble, Kasey. “Exhibition Reviews.”, Art in America, May 2010

O’Neil-Butler, Lauren. Artforum, May 2010

Rosenberg, Karen. “Art in Review.”, The New York Times, 2 April.

2009

Beckwith, Naomi. Artforum, November 2009.

Stern, Steven. “Prospect.1 New Orleans,” Frieze, February 2009.

2008

Schjedahl, Peter. “Come on down,” The New Yorker, November 2008.

2006

Amy Michael, “Sculpture Magazine”, May, Vol. 24 No. 4

Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Conemporanea listing, Sculpture, April, Vol. 25, No. 3

2004

Valdez Sarah, “Art in America”, December

2002

Cohen Joyce, “Art New England”, December 2002 / January 2003

Hala Katherine, “Daily Free Press”, NOV 14

Maass Val, “Weekly Dig”, November 6-13

McQuaid Cate, “Boston Sunday Globe”, October 13

Schwaab, Ellen, “Extraschichtenfr, die Documenta 11”, Sonntagszeit, 18 Vom, 5 May

Silver Joanne, “Boston Herald”, October 18

Rhodes, Kristen. “Linking Art, Community, and History”, Charleston City Paper, Vol.5, Issue 39, May 22

Nari Ward,“Work in Progress”, V Magazine

2000

Lloyd Ann Wilson, “Remembering Olmsted’s Vision for Boston”, The New York Times, August 6

Sirmans Franklin, “Rites of Passage”; The Studio Museum in Harlem: charts its future by revisiting its recent past, Art Review, Time Out New York, Issue 224, Jan 6-13

1998

Allerholm Milou, “On Arkipelag 2”, The Nordic Art Review, Summer, pp. 80-81

Kaplan Janet, “The Quiet in the Land: Everyday Life, Contemporary Art, and the Shakers; A Conversation with Janet Kaplan,” Art Journal, Summer, pp. 5-27

Oguibe Olu, “Studio Call Nari Ward”, Nka, Fall/Winter

1997

Barclay Morgan Anne, “3-Legged Race”, Sculpture, March, pp.57-58

Larson Kay, “A Month in Shaker Country”, The New York Times, August 10, pp. 30-33

1996

Camhi Leslie, “Other Rooms,” The Village Voice, October 9, p.83

Cotter Holland, “3 Legged Race,” The New York Times, September 27

Frankel David, “Happy Smilers”, ArtForum, October 1996, p. 116

Gear Josephine, “3 Legged Race”, Review Magazine, October 1

Halle Howard, “Nari Ward, Happy Smilers”, Time Out New York, March 27

Levin Kim, “Happy Smilers; Duty Free Shopping”, The Village Voice, March

Pace Alessandra, “Nari Ward, In the Inside of a Sunshower”, Flash Art, October, pp. 76-79

Pederson Victoria, “Gallery Go Round”, PAPER, April

Princethal Nancy, “Nari Ward at Deitch Projects”, Art in America, September

Saltz Jerry, “3 Legged Race”, Time Out New York, October 10,p. 30

1995

Goldberg Paul. “Klaus Kertess and the Making of the Whitney Biennial”, The New York Times Magazine, February, pp. 30-39

Huitorel Jean-Marc, “Nari Ward”, Art Press, March 19, p. 64

Johnson Ken, “Big Top Whitney”, Art in America, June, pp. 38- 43

Kertess Klaus, “Looking at the Future”, Elle Décor, November,pp. 61-66

Kimmelman Michael, “Harlem Sculpture Garden”, The New York Times, September 22, p. C1

Napack Jonathan, “Art Diary”, The New York Observer, April 17

Stevens Mark, “A Polite Biennial”, New York Magazine, April 1, pp. 56-57

Wallach Amei, “Debating the Color Line”, New York Newsday,February 8, pp. 84-85

1993

Deitch Jeffrey, “Nari Ward Aperto”, Flash Art, Summer, p. 97

Smith Roberta, “Gallery View: Examining Culture Through Its Castoffs”, The New York Times, November 28, pp. H39-44

Vetroc Marcia E, “Identity Crisis”, Art in America, September, pp. 106-1