- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsForthcoming ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Ambreen Butt: I Need a Hero
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: A Lecture on Martian History
- Rachel Perry: What Do You Really Want
- Charmaine Wheatley: Souvenirs
- Bharti Kher: Not All Who Wander Are Lost
- Jean-Michel Othoniel: Secret Flower Sculptures
- Nari Ward: Divination X
- Luisa Rabbia: Waterfall
- Carla Fernández: The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community
- Sophie Calle: Last Seen
- Hamra Abbas: Wall Hanging I
- Adam Pendleton: Untitled
- Raqs Media Collective: The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
- Stefano Arienti: Wild Carrot
- Luisa Lambri: Portrait
- Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye–9 Artists 9 Projections
- (TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
- Points of View: 20 Years Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
- Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
- Danijel Zezelj: Once
- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections
- Su-Mei Tse: Floating Memories
- Luisa Rabbia: Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008
- Cliff Evans: Empyrean
- Stefano Arienti: The Asian Shore
- Sculpture and Memory: Works from the Gardner and by Luigi Ontani
- Henrik Håkansson: Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001
- Michele Iodice: A Pagan Feast
- Variations On a Theme by Sol Lewitt and Paula Robison
- Danijel Zezelj: Stray Dogs
- Dayanita Singh: Chairs
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: TV Dinner
- Elaine Reichek: madamimadam
- Joseph Kosuth: Artist, Curator, Collector
- Nari Ward: Episodes: Bus Park & Forevermore
- Manfred Bischoff
- Ackroyd & Harvey: Presence
- Laura Owens
- Joan Bankemper: A Gardener's Diary
- Lee Mingwei: Living Room
- Josiah McElheny
- Abelardo Morell: Face to Face
- Mona Higuchi: Bamboo Echoes
- Juan Muñoz: Portrait of a Turkish Man Drawing
- Denise Marika: New Works by Denise Marika
- Dorit Cypis: The Body in the Picture
- Artists By 2007
- Nari Ward working in the Textile Conservation Lab, 2002.
- Nari Ward in the Greenhouses, 2002.
- Nari Ward creating <em>Once</em> in the Special Exhibition Gallery, 2002.
- Nari Ward creating <em>Once</em> in the Special Exhibition Gallery, 2002.
- Nari Ward working on <em>Bus Park</em> outside the Gardner Museum, 2002.
- Nari Ward and filmmaker Mark Lipman, 2002.
- <em>Nari Ward: Flashlight Tour</em> (gallery view), 2002. Photo: John Kennard.
2002, 2007, 2012, 2015
Nari Ward's (b. 1963 Jamaica) installations evoke emotional responses from viewers by challenging their social and spiritual beliefs. His dramatic sculptures are composed of systematically collected material from his urban neighborhood and often incorporate sound and light. Weaving culture, history, and personal narrative, Ward transforms plastic garbage bags, abandoned baby strollers, glass bottles, landscaping barrier cloth, fire hoses, oil drums, doors, and old television into works that explore issues surrounding race, poverty, consumer culture, sex and immigration.
Nari Ward has exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit; the Palazzo delle Papesse-Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena, Italy; the Galleria Civica díArte, Torino, Italy; and the Taipei Museum, Taipei. In addition, his work has been included in Prospect 1 New Orleans Biennial (2008); Whitney Biennial, New York (2006); Echigo- Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2006); Sharjah International Biennial 7,Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2005); and Documenta XI, Kassel (2003). He received commissions from the United Nations and the World Health Organization, 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 is currently a professor of art and sculpture at Hunter College. He received a BA from Hunter College in 1991 and an MFA from Brooklyn College 1992. Nari Ward was born in St. Andrews, Jamaica and he currently lives and works in Harlem, New York.
Nari Ward first visited the Gardner Museum in 2002 while he was in North Andover working on a piece for SiteLines, a project at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy. Immediately Ward was struck by the Gardner staff's commitment to the museum and their diligence for its care; especially the work of the conservation department team. On returning to his studio in Harlem, Ward began working on new pieces for his exhibition including Mimesis: Glove Book that he constructed using catalogues of the museum's collection and Bus Park, a small school bus that he transformed and ultimately installed outside on the museum’s grounds.
Ward returned in September for five weeks to continue his research and to prepare for his exhibition, Episodes: Bus Park and Forevermore. Early on in his residency Ward visited the Boston Arts Academy to meet with a class of ninth grade students and present them with his concept for his installation, Bus Park. Ward went over the details of how they would help to create the exterior structure of the bus with hundreds of yellow pencils fastened together to create vines. He turned the special exhibition gallery into his temporary studio and with the help of two assistants from the nearby School of the Museum of Fine Arts, he constructed five new works that responded directly to the museum and to Isabella Stewart Gardner's unusual requirement that the Museum galleries be preserved exactly as she had arranged them. Once, a piece Ward made out of clocks and photographs of the museum staff as children, was partially "etched" into wall to reveal the multitude of paint layers from previous shows . Another work, ISG Duster, was a replica of the conservator’s vacuum and cleaning cart covered in dust from the galleries that had been specifically saved for the project.
Ward had also been attracted to the children's books in Gardner's collection. He selected the first line of each story and invited the students from Boston Arts Academy to take photographs of objects in the collection that reminded them of each passage. These were collected and incorporated into books that were tethered to the seats of the bus. A second group of five seniors from Boston Arts Academy helped Ward at the museum to install the vines of pencils, other elements of the work, and helped to create a recorded sound component. Ward asked each student read aloud the lines he had selected from the children's book. This track was edited together with music in a loop and was piped into the bus. Several of the children's books were put on display outside the special exhibition gallery.
Filmmaker Mark Lipman captured the process of Ward creating Bus Park in his Harlem studio and working at the Gardner Museum. A short film was included outside the exhibition and a longer film was edited with interviews and more detail about each project. In addition, the exhibition included talks by the artist, independent curator Tumelo Mosaka, assistant curator at Walker Art Center, Olukemi Ilesanmi, Adam Weinberg, Director of the Addison Gallery of Art, and Pieranna Cavalchini Contemporary Curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
He returned in 2007 to give a Noontime Talk about his current projects.
A photograph from Ward's series Flashlight Tour, 2002 was included in Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner, an exhibition celebrating the Museum’s residency program through select works by past participants. This exhibition, which ran from January 19 - August 20, 2012, was created for the debut of the Museum's new wing and renovated spaces.