Nari Ward: Sun Splashed

June 24–August 22, 2016
On view in the Roberts Gallery

The Barnes Foundation presents Sun Splashed, a mid-career survey of the found-object assemblage art of Nari Ward (b. 1963 in St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica; lives and works in New York). Animated by flânerie—the idle, detached observation of street life that 19th-century writers and artists associated with the rise of modern cities—and making reference to African tribal art, Ward’s oeuvre resonates with the Barnes collection and speaks with penetrating insight and imagination to a broad range of subjects, including black history and culture, the dynamics of power and politics, and Caribbean diaspora identity.

Emerging alongside a notable group of black artists who rose to prominence in New York the 1990s, Ward has expanded contemporary definitions of installation and assemblage with his massive, tactile approach to art. His deft use of materials gathered in and around urban neighborhoods imbues his work with a visceral relationship to the real world, allowing him to challenge viewers’ perceptions of familiar objects and experiences. Ward’s innovative approach has earned him numerous prestigious awards, including the Rome Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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“Few 21st-century artists have made stronger and more textured visual statements about racism, failed justice, and exile-at-home than this one has. And none have come up with images more poetic.”—Holland Cotter, The New York Times

“He [Nari Ward] wants to make us look at things – objects and people – that most people feel they don't really need to see.” “… the works say things that stick in the mind for some time.”— Tom Hine, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Nari Ward: Sun Splashed is organized by Pérez Art Museum Miami Associate Curator Diana Nawi.


The presentation of Nari Ward: Sun Splashed at the Barnes Foundation is sponsored by

The exhibition is made possible by the generosity of individual contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund. Additional support is provided by the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund.

Organization of Nari Ward: Sun Splashed and its presentation at the Pérez Art Museum Miami have been made possible by Citi and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with additional support from the Funding Arts Network. Valuable support for the exhibition catalogue was provided by Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, and Havana; and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Additional in-kind support provided by Gander & White.

Nari Ward (b. 1963 in Jamaica; lives and works in New York). Iron Heavens (installation view, Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2015), 1995. Oven pans, ironed cotton, and burnt wooden bats, 140 × 148 × 48 in. (355.6 × 375.9 × 121.9 cm). Photo courtesy Pérez Art Museum Miami. Photo by STUDIO LHOOQ

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