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Nari Ward

Breathing Plan -11°

2016 | Oak, copper sheet, nails and darkening patina

"Breathing Plan -11°" part of a larger series of work by artist Nari Ward. Described by Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York for his 2015 exhibition, Ward creates these works "by applying darkening patina to the bottom of his shoes and stepping on the copper panels, leaving a trace of his performative gesture. Ward has also punctured geometric patterns into each panel, which reference traditional Congolese “cosmograms,” an ancient prayer symbol that represents the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Ward first came across these symbols during a visit to the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia, which was part of the Underground Railroad, and where he came upon 26 distinct sets of patterns. At the church, holes were cut in the floorboards to allow escaping slaves to breathe as they moved clandestinely under the church. " 


Nari Ward

Nari Ward

St. Andrew, Jamaica

Nari Ward’s dramatic sculptural installations are composed of found materials — such as shoelaces, baby strollers and tin cans — systematically collected from his New York City neighborhood. By revealing the many emotions found in everyday objects, Ward, a native of Jamaica, examines issues surrounding race, poverty and consumer culture. The recipient of the Vilcek Prize for Immigrant Artists in 2017, Ward has exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, and elsewhere. Past honors include the Rome Prize, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more. Commissions include work for the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Ward received a B.F.A. from Hunter College and a M.F.A. from Brooklyn College in New York.

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