76 Grand Street
"Happy Smilers" reflected Nari Ward’s experiences as a child growing up in Jamaica and as an artist in Harlem. The title of the exhibition came from an album of island music that features the artist’s uncle as lead vocalist. Ward created his own space inside the gallery, using the walls, floor, and ceiling. The entrance to the gallery was camouflaged as a duty-free store. Island music played, recalling the innocence that the artist associates with his childhood in Jamaica in the 1960s and ’70s. In the main gallery, Ward constructed a contemplative space of urban detritus. The space was converted into a kind of ruined home-furnishings store, with all of the merchandise tied down with fire hose. A pair of fire escapes hanging from the ceiling evoked a sense of spiritual transcendence.
Ward renders both the social and spiritual aspects of his life: There is always a sense of regeneration coming through his distressed materials. He abstracts from his own personal experience, creating enormous structures out of discarded materials that he finds in the street. His structures are not just images to see; they are to be experienced—walked through, listened to, and smelled. His installations require an astonishing amount of physical labor, and one is awed by the extraordinary amount of work that goes into them. But one can sense that the labor leads to transcendence rather than exhaustion.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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