NEW YORK, NY.- Lehmann Maupin
presents LIVESupport, celebrated artist Nari Ward's first solo exhibition at the gallery, on view 25 February - 17 April, 2010. In this new body of work consisting of sculptures, works on paper, and video, Ward articulates a dialogue surrounding the idea of support physical, spiritual, social, and judicial while introducing contemplation of everyday objects. Employing varying forms of the silhouette, Ward expands on the two-dimensional form, creating three-dimensional and also transparent incarnations to tell a story that not only highlights what is declared, but what is withheld.
The centerpiece of LIVESupport, is a powerful work entitled "Sick Smoke," a smoke-filled ambulance covered in opaque and transparent white vinyl, allowing only traces of its signage to be visible. In contrast to this ominous white vehicle, black stencil ink plays an important role in the surrounding works in the exhibition. Ward's use of the ink to cover everyday objects, such as walking canes and shoe tips, continues his study of the silhouette, "marking out" an entire form, but allowing the nuances of its surface and shape to be experienced more thoughtfully. Other works featured in LIVESupport include "Church State," a two-part sculpture comprised of ink-covered church pews mounted on wheels; "Ambulascope," a downward facing telescope supported by a seven-foot tower of walking canes, which are marked with ink and adorned with Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) of the spinal column; "Riot Gates," a series of large-scale X-Ray images of the human skull mounted on security gates and surrounded by a border of ink-covered shoe tips, objects often used by the artist as tenuous representation of the body ; "Role Play Drawings" a series of found black and white cards from the 1960s used for teaching young children, which Ward has altered using ink to mark out the key elements and reshape the narrative, which leaves the viewer to interpret the remaining psychological tension; and "Father and Sons, " a video filmed at Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network House of Justice, which comments on the anxiety and complex dialogue that African-American police officers are often faced with when dealing with young African-American teenagers.
On Saturday, 6 March, 2010 at 1:30 PM Lehmann Maupin Gallery will present a discussion and Q+A session with Nari Ward, providing the audience a special opportunity to experience the show first-hand with the artist as he explains his creative process and the themes of LIVESupport. Ward's work will also be on view at Lehmann Maupin's Armory Show Stand (Pier 94, 911), 4-7 March, 2010.
Ward's work is currently on view through 14 March, 2010 at the Studio Museum in Harlem as part of the exhibit 30 Seconds Off an Inch. Ward's work has been included in the 2008 Prospect.1 New Orleans biennial, 2006 Whitney Biennial in New York and in Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany in 2003. Ward's works have also been exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. His solo exhibitions include Episodes at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston; The Refinery X: A small twist of fate at the Palazzo delle Papesse-Centro Arte Contemporanea in Siena, Italy, and Rites of Way at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Ward is currently working on a solo exhibition to be presented at Mass MoCA later this year. Ward has received commissions from the United Nations and the World Health Organization, and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pollock Krasner Foundation.