Since the early 1990s, Nari Ward (b. 1963) has created a body of powerful works made primarily out of humble materials that have been accumulated and repurposed. Based in recycling and the folk traditions of his native Jamaica, where he was born, as well as the street aesthetics of Harlem, where he currently lives and works, Ward’s sculpture often evokes African-Caribbean and African-American experience in surprising and innovative ways. For the monumental sculpture APOLLO / POLL (2017) Ward has recreated Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater sign with a twist: alternately flashing between the word APOLLO and POLL, which is embedded within. The artist has interjected politics into the role of both the Greek god (and his namesake theater), who rules over light as well as music, poetry, and art. APOLLO / POLL will occupy a site in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden.
Organized by Richard Klein, Exhibitions Director, and Amy Smith-Stewart, Curator, at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.