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Nari Ward
Breathing Panel #2


$75,000Asking Price


Nari Ward explores themes and ideas that are largely informed by the community and/or location in which he is working, and the materials he finds there. His sculptures have a formal aesthetic quality but also are embedded with socio-political content such as references to identity, race, religion, immigration, patriotism, tourism, and consumer culture. Ward re-contextualizes found objects in thought-provoking juxtapositions, often creating complex and metaphorical meanings that highlight cultural values. He intentionally leaves the meaning of his work open-ended, allowing the viewer to providing his or her own interpretation. In these works, Ward creates abstract works that can be appreciated for their formal qualities, but also hold a conceptual layer. References to abstract expressionists such as Pollock and De Kooning can be seen in Ward’s marks and through his process. To create these works, Ward applies darkening patina to his shoes and steps on the copper panels in gestural, action-based works. The incorporation of his own footstep is an attempt to indicate the moment of the artist’s presence during the creation of this work. Ward incorporates a geometric pattern by punching holes in the panels. The holes are surrounded by copper nails which bring attention to these voids. The geometric pattern was inspired by a diamond-shaped pattern lining the floor of a Baptist church he visited in Savannah, Georgia. Through research, Ward learned that the church was part of the underground railroad, and these were breathing holes for the travelers. This shape also references Congo cosmograms and represents the cycle of life, translating into birth, life, death, and rebirth, at once. Ward has a solo exhibition at the SCAD Museum on view through June 21, 2015. In November of 2015 the Perez Art Museum Miami will mount an extensive solo exhibition or Ward’s work, which will be on view during Art Basel Miami Beach. Ward will also have an exhibition at Lehmann Maupin in New York from September 9- November 1, 2015.


  • Creator
    Nari Ward (1963, American)
  • Creation Year
  • Dimensions
    Height: 62 in. (157.48 cm)Width: 50 in. (127 cm)Depth: 1.75 in. (4.45 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York , NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU18696402

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