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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Nari Ward

b. 1963, Jamaica

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 neighbourhood. He has repurposed objects such as baby strollers, shopping carts, bottles, doors, television sets, cash registers and shoelaces, among other materials. Ward re-contextualises 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 organised 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); Landings, Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany (2002); Passages: Contemporary Art in Transition, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Projects: How to Build and Maintain the Virgin Fertility of Our Soul, MoMA PS1, Long Island City; The Listening Sky, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; 1995 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Art, New York; and Cardinal Points of the Arts, 45th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy.

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Featured Artworks

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Molt’s LiquorSoul by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardMolt’s LiquorSoul, 2018 Salvaged neon liquor sign, shoes, artificial flowers, shoelaces, and pvc tube
254 x 40.6 x 81.3 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Swing Low by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardSwing Low, 2015 Bronze, rope
Lehmann Maupin
Mending Board 21 by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardMending Board 21, 2016–2017 Used chalk boards, chalk, gauze, cotton, and gold lettering enamel
45.7 x 38.1 x 1.9 cm (incl frame)
Lehmann Maupin
Mending Board 12 by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardMending Board 12, 2016–2017 Used chalk boards, chalk, gauze, cotton, and gold lettering enamel
45.7 x 38.1 x 1.9 cm (incl frame)
Lehmann Maupin
Medicine Bats by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardMedicine Bats, 2011 Cotton and bats in custom metal and glass case
Lehmann Maupin
Knot Endings by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardKnot Endings, 2010 Shoelaces
320 x 198.1 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Correctional Circle 1280 by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardCorrectional Circle 1280, 2018 Oak wood, copper sheet, copper nails, and darkening patina
121.9 x 121.9 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Correctional Circle 0128 by Nari Ward contemporary artwork
Nari WardCorrectional Circle 0128, 2018 Oak wood, copper sheet, copper nails, and darkening patina
121.9 x 121.9 cm
Lehmann Maupin

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Nari Ward, CORRECTIONAL at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
Closed
28 August–20 October 2018 Nari Ward CORRECTIONAL Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, American Landscape at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
15 March–5 May 2018 Group Exhibition American Landscape Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Nari Ward, TILL, LIT at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
2 June–25 August 2017 Nari Ward TILL, LIT Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Nari Ward Ocula Conversation Nari Ward

Nari Ward has witnessed his neighbourhood transform. Harlem, once neglected and teeming with creative energy but rampant with drugs, crime, and wreckage, has become home to organic groceries, high-end cafés, and high-income housing. It is a symptom of many gentrifying neighbourhoods in New York, whereby high-earning populations replace lower-income...

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In Related Press

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Your Concise Los Angeles Art Guide for Fall 2019 Related Press Your Concise Los Angeles Art Guide for Fall 2019 Hyperallergic : 10 September 2019

Below you'll find a fun mix of museum and gallery shows, performances, and film screenings taking place over the next few months in the greater Los Angeles area. We know how hard it is to keep track of all that's going on, so we've compiled some of the events that stood out to us and organized them according to theme and type. We're hoping there'll...

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When the Arts Resist Imperialism Related Press When the Arts Resist Imperialism Hyperallergic : 7 September 2019

A resplendent display of 272 fuchsia-colored paper lotus lanterns adorns the light-filled oculus on The Rubin Museum of Art's top floor. The sweeping circular installation, Lotus: Zone of Zero (2019) by Kimsooja, is among the more striking of the works by 10 international artists selected by guest curator Sara Raza for the exhibition Clapping with...

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Nari Ward’s Angels in America Related Press Nari Ward’s Angels in America Hyperallergic : 16 March 2019

Way back in 1996, three friends — Janine Antoni, Marcel Odenbach, and Nari Ward — presented a memorable exhibition, 3 Legged Race, in an abandoned 19th-century firehouse in Harlem. This artist-driven show was for me, and for many others as well, an absolute highlight of that era, and it occurred with little institutional support and...

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Critics' Picks: 'Material History' Related Press Critics' Picks: 'Material History' Zachary Fine : 8 March 2019

Her current show features work by three artists: Yuji Agematsu, Charles Harlan, and Nari Ward. The theme of 'everyday objects'—ranging from carefully salvaged dross to mundane materials—loosely binds the selection.

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