Nari Ward: We the People at the New Museum




Nari Ward, We the People, 2011. Shoelaces, 96 x 324 in (243.8 × 594.4 cm). In collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Collection Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Gift of the Speed Contemporary, 2016.1. © The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY

Nari Ward: We the People will open at the New Museum, featuring over thirty sculptures, paintings, videos, and large-scale installation, in a first museum survey in New York of his work.

Nari Ward, Amazing Grace, 1993. Approx. 300 baby strollers and fire hoses, dimensions variable. Installation view: “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star,” New Museum, New York, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

The exhibition shines a light on the importance of New York, and Harlem in particular, with regard to the material and thematic content of Ward’s art ~ where materials scavenged from buildings and streets in Harlem were often used in the creation of his early sculptures. The items include such sidewalk finds as baby strollers, fire hoses, baseball bats, cooking trays, bottles ~ even shopping carts.

Nari Ward, Iron Heavens, 1995. Oven pans, ironed sterilized cotton, and burnt wooden bats, 140 x 148 x 48 in (355.6 x 375.9 x 121.9 cm). Installation view: “Nari Ward: Sun Splashed,” Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2016. Collection Jeffrey Deitch. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Photo: Studio LHOOQ

Included in the exhibition will be several early works such as the large-scale environments Amazing Grace and Hunger Cradle (both 1993), bringing together many of his most iconic sculptures alongside a number of works that have never been seen in New York.

A fully illustrated catalogue co-published by the New Museum and Phaidon Press accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue includes an interview with Nyari Ward, conducted by Lowery Stokes Sims, as well as newly commissioned essays on the artist’s work.

Nari Ward, Crusader, 2005. Plastic bags, metal, shopping cart, trophy elements, bitumen, chandelier, and plastic containers, 110 x 51 x 52 in (279.4 x 129.5 x 132.1 cm). Installation view: “Nari Ward: Re-Presence,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, 2010. Collection Brooklyn Museum; Purchased with funds given by Giulia Borghese. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul

Nari Ward: We the People and related programming and events will be on view from February 13 to May 26, 2019 at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, NYC

Looking back at just a few of Nari Ward’s recent NYC exhibitions, The Socrates Sculpture Garden with G.O.A.T. ~ the exhibition Spots, Dots, Pips, and Tiles at Hunter East Harlem Gallery ~ Smart Tree on the High Line + so much more.