Artist Talk / Leonardo Drew and Nari Ward

Join us for an exciting conversation between acclaimed contemporary artists, Leonardo Drew and Nari Ward. The dynamic program celebrates the recent acquisitions of artworks by the artists into the Norton's Contemporary Collection.

Nari Ward is a Jamaican-American artist based in New York City and is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded found material collected throughout his Harlem neighborhood. Ward re-contextualizes these found objects in thought provoking sculpture that create complex conversations around social and political realities of race, migration, democracy, and community.

Leonardo Drew is a contemporary American artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He creates sculptures from natural materials and through processes of oxidation, burning, and decay, Drew transforms these objects into massive sculptures that critique social injustices and the cyclical nature of existence.

Seating is limited; online registration required.

Cost: Museum Admission / Members FREE

More information about the artists:

For over three decades, Leonardo Drew has become known for creating contemplative abstract sculptural works that play upon a tension between order and chaos. At once monumental and intimate in scale, his work recalls post-Minimalist sculpture that alludes to America’s industrial past. Drew transforms accumulations of raw materials such as wood, scrap metal, and cotton to articulate various overlapping themes with emotional gravitas: from the cyclical nature of life and decay to the erosion of time. His surfaces often approach a language of their own, embodying the labored process of writing oneself into history.

Drew’s works have been shown internationally and are included in numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Tate, London. His works have recently been acquired by The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Bloomington, Indiana; and New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana among others.


Leonardo Drew. Photographer: Christopher Garcia. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.

Nari Ward is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded material found and collected in his neighborhood. He uses repurposed objects such as baby strollers, shopping carts, bottles, doors, television sets, cash registers and shoelaces, among other materials. Ward re-contextualizes found objects in thought-provoking juxtapositions that create complex, metaphorical meanings to confront social and political issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. He intentionally leaves the meaning of his work open, allowing the viewer to provide his or her own interpretation.

Nari Ward received a BA from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989, and an MFA from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992. Ward’s work is in numerous international public and private collections, including Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Istanbul Modern; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Pérez Art Museum Miami; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Nari Ward in his studio, 2023
Photo by Axel Dupeux
Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London.

This program is generously supported by Lehmann Maupin and Galerie Lelong & Co.