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Nari Ward: Gilded Darkness

An exhibition at Centro Balneare Romano, in Milan

From September 12 to October 16, 2022, the Nicola Trussardi Foundation presents a new project created especially for the city of Milan: Gilded Darkness, by American artist Nari Ward. In the outdoor and indoor spaces of the Centro Balneare Romano (Swimming Centre Romano), in the Città Studi area, Nari Ward will bring never-before-seen works, created for the occasion, alongside celebrated sculptures, installations, and environmental interventions.

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Known for his sculptures and installations assembled from salvaged materials since the early 1990s, Nari Ward has contributed to imagining contemporary art and culture as global and polyphonic experiences. Of Jamaican descent, Ward moved with his family to New York at a young age and established his studio there. Impressed by the profusion of abandoned objects on the streets, Ward began collecting objects with strong symbolic value. From the manipulation of these materials – strollers, shopping carts, umbrellas, shoelaces and other found objects and urban waste – came monumental installations that transformed the language of contemporary sculpture, introducing theatrical and immersive experiences that later became a distinctive aspect of art in this new century. 

The exhibition at the Centro Balneare Romano (which the Milanese also know as “Giulio Romano Pool,” or “Ponzio Pool”) opens with Amazing Grace, one of his best-known works, produced in 1993 in his Harlem studio. The installation includes more than 300 baby carriages arranged in the shape of a ship’s hull; the voice of gospel singer Mahalia Jackson sings Amazing Grace, the song that goes with the installation.

Alongside Amazing Grace are many new productions commissioned by the Nicola Trussardi Foundation, including Emergence Pool, a site-specific intervention on the swimming pool, a 4,000-square-foot rectangular pool almost the size of a soccer field – transformed into a giant golden expanse: a fragile raft composed of thousands of floating thermal blankets. Gilded Darkness is conceived and produced by the Nicola Trussardi Foundation and realized with the collaboration of Milanosport.

Nari Ward
Gilded Darkness
curated by Massimiliano Gioni
Until October 16th, 2022
Centro Balneare Romano – Milanosport
Via Ampère 20 – Milan

L 02 Nari Ward Emergence Pool FNT Gilded Darkness
The Emergence Pool, a site specific installation
nari ward gilded 02 2ND FLOOR VIEW 2
Nari Ward, Amazing Grace, 1993. Exhibition views of Nari Ward. We the People, 2019. New Museum, New York. Photo Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio
nari ward gilded 01 NW portrait Courtesy Pérez Art Museum Miami photo by World Red Eye 2016 hr
Nari Ward portrait, 2016. Courtesy Pérez Art Museum Miami, Photo World Red Eye
nari ward gilded 04 BIG NAWA2013 20df
Nari Ward, Radiant Opacity, 2022. Exhibition views, Galleria Continua/Les Moulins. Courtesy GALLERIA CONTINUA, Photo Oak Taylor-Smith
nari ward gilded 06 NW LM33188 Battleground Beacon Prospect.5 2021 2022 det02 hr
Nari Ward, Sugar Hill Smiles, 2014, Installation view, If You Build It, No Longer Empty, Harlem, New York, June 2014. Photo Whitney Browne, Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London
nari ward gilded 08 4TH FLOOR VIEW 5
Exhibition views of Nari Ward. We the People, 2019. New Museum, New York. Photo Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio

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