Ward Shelley Bio

<<artist’s page

Ward Shelley was born in Auburn, New York.

His work is about “history and, as such, [it] attempt[s] to understand the world, or part of it. The attempt is to organize a mass of interrelated facts on a single “page” so that the scope of their relations and connections can be seen in an interesting and revealing way.”

‘All historian’s are editors. As such, they must face the problem of throwing the baby out with the bath- water. This is even more my problem. These diagrams are radical reductions of written history for which I have had to choose who and what to include, who not. Incredible amounts of information are jettisoned. Even the people and works I use are reduced to symbols. But, in their coming together in this different form, new information is revealed, and nearly always a new insight for me.

Lastly, each of [my] pieces represents a work in progress. As I learn more, (and knowledgeable people can be quite forthcoming and helpful – but please be polite), I can amend these works, and produce revised versions”.

(Ward Shelley, The Hold in Mind Disclaimer,2006)


Auburn, New York. 1950

MA New York University
BFA Eckerd College, Art and Communications

The Sidney and Louis Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (January-February)
Westport Art Center, Westport, CT (December-March) (Two-person)
“Your Turn,” The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (October – April) (Two-person, with Alex Schweder)
“ReActor,” Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, NY (Two-person, with Alex Schweder)
“The Felicific Calculus,” Pierogi, New York, NY (April 3–May 8)
“The Last Library,” SPACES, Cleveland, OH (Two-person, with Douglas Paulson)
“In Orbit,” The Boiler, Brooklyn, NY (Two-person, with Alex Schweder)
Unreliable Narrator, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Unzuverlässiger Erzähler, Teapot Gallery, Cologne, Germany
State of Things, The Flat, Massimo Carasi Gallery, Milan
Counterweight Roommate, Featured installation / performance at Scope Basel, Switzerland (with Alex Schweder)
Well-Made World, Center for Contemporary Art, and Launch Projects, Sante Fe, New Mexico
“Who Invented the Avant Garde (and other half-truths),” Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY (17 April–17 May)
“Stability–And Other Tenuous Positions,” Lawrimore Project, Seattle, WA (22 March–2 May)
(Two-person, with Alex Schweder)
“Man Draws Time,” Parkhaus Im Malkasten, Dusseldorf, Germany
“Rematerializing Art: A Show of Paintings,” Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY.
Traveled to Leipzig, Germany
“We Have Mice,” Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“Operation:Mice,” Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, Poland
“Colony,” (Mir2 group) Islip Art Museum, New York
“The Cube,” Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NYC
“Mir2,” Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn, NYC
“Tunnel,” La Friche Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
“This Salient Moment,” Kunstverein Recklinghausen, Germany
Neuer Kusntverein, Aschaffenburg, Germany
“Berlin Platform,” Ateliers Megerzeile, Berlin
“Naked, With Special Love,” Ateliers Hoherweg, Dusseldorf
“Voyage Platform,” Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC
Flipside Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Waschhaus KunstHalle, Potsdam, Germany
Werth Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany
“Bruise on My Forehead,” Museum Am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany
“Range,” Diversworks, Houston, Texas.
PS 122 Gallery, NYC.
Metro Dade Cultural Resource Center, Miami, Florida.
“Reef,” Center for Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida
Olaf Clasen Gallery/Art 54, New York City, New York.
Barbara Gillman Gallery, Miami, Florida.

Make Art Not War: Pierogi for Peace, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
Pulp, Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
“The Newcomers,” PERFORMA 17 BIENNIAL, New York, NY (November) (With Alex Schweder)
“The Internal Machine,” The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY (October-December)
“En Masse: Books Orchestrated,” The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY. Curated by Osman Can Yerebakan
“Crooked Data (Mis)Information in Contemporary Art,” Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA. Curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter
“Rage for Art (Once Again),” Pierogi, New York, NY
“The Menu for Mars Kitchen,” The Boiler, Brookyln, NY. Curated by Heidi Neilson and Douglas Paulson
“Destroy, she said,” The Boiler, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Saul Anton and Ethan Spigland
“PIEROGI XX: Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition,” Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
“Idiom II,” Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
“Some Artists,” MINUS Space, Brooklyn, NY
“Intangible,” Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
“Standard of Living,” Gallery 400, Chicago, IL
“Fountains of the Deep: Visions of Noah and the Flood,” 462 West Broadway, New York, NY. Curated by Darren Aronofsky
“Art into Music,” BRIC Arts Media House, Brooklyn, NY
“Classless Society,” Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY
“CLOUDS,” Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY
“Unhinged,” Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
“The Happy Fainting of Painting,” Zwinger Galerie, Berlin, Germany
“I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” (curator), Teapot Gallery, Cologne, Germany
“Temporary Structures: Performing Architecture in Contemporary Art, DeCordova Museum, Boston, MA
“Neo-Nomads,” BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me,” EFA Project Space, Elizabeth Foundation, NYC
“Williamsburg 2000,” Art 101, Brooklyn, NY
Inaugural Exhibition, Kranich Museum, Germany
“Subjective / Objective,” Pierogi, Brooklyn, NY
“Fokus Lodz Biennale,” The International Artist’s Museum, Lodz, Poland
“The Chelsea Street Tree Signage Exhibit (permanent installation in NY gallery district Root for Trees in cooperation with the NYC Parks Department
“Drawing Systems,” Lafayette College Art Gallery, Easton, PA. Curated by Susan Swenson
“Energy Effects: Art and Artifacts from the Landscape of Glorious Excess,” Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
(1 July–15 October)
“Archive,” Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM
“The 2010 DeCordova Biennial,” DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (23 January–11 April)
“Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection,” Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
“Slightly Unbalanced,” Chicago Cultural Center, Organized by Susan Hapgood of Independent
Curators International, Chicago, IL
“Pierogi et al,” Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“Elusive Truths,” Firehouse Gallery, Burlington, VT
“Nieuwe Collectie, Stedelijk Museum Wuyts-Van Campen & Baron Caroly, Lier, Belgium
“New York: State of Mind,” The House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany.
Curated by Shaheen Merali (August 24–November 4)
Traveled to the Queens, Museum, Queens, NY
“The Happiness of Objects,” Sculpture Center, LIC, New York (Flatland Project)
“The Accidentally Real,” Sara Tecchia Gallery, New York, NY
“Cosmologies,” James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY (January 11–February 10)
Group Exhibition, PIEROGI Leipzig, Germany
“Twice Drawn,” Wachenheim Gallery, Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
(October 7–December 30)
“Personal Geographies,” Hunter College, Times Square Gallery, (October 4–November 18)
Curated by Joanna Lindenbaum
“Text Formed Drawing,” Contemporary Art Galleries, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Curated by Barry Rosenberg (November 6–December 13)
“Work In Progress,” d.u.m.b.o. arts center, Brooklyn, NY (Archive installation)
“There Is Always An Alternative,” Temporary Contemporary, London
“Para Sites…when space comes into play,” MUMOK (Museum of Modern Kunst), Vienna, Austria
“Open House: Working in Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Museum of Art
“Home Extension,” University Art Museum, SUNY, Albany NY
“Self-Sufficient (Truck Drawing 2),” Cambridge Arts Council, MA
“Re-Do China,” Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, NY
“Tentworm,” Lokaal 01, Breda, Netherlands
“Haifa International Installation Triennial,” Haifa Museum, Israel
“Re-Construction Biennial,” Exit Art, NYC
“Street Selections,” The Drawing Center, NYC
“To Actuality,” ARGE Museum, Bolzano, Italy
“Enactments of the Self,” Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria
“Crafting Space,” Smart Project Space, Amsterdam
“Made In Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Rail/Wythe Studio, NY
“Touchy Feely,” Eyewash, Brooklyn, NY
“Globe>Miami>Island,” Bass Museum, Miami Beach, Florida and Museum of Contemporary Art,
Wash., D.C.
“Outsourcing,” Flipside Galley, Brooklyn, NY
“If We Were Kings,” Kunst und Medienzuntrum Aldershof, Berlin
“Drawing Show,” London, UK
“Construction In Process,” Bydgosczc, Poland
“Picture This,” Flipside Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
“Valentines,” Eyewash, Brooklyn, NY
“Offbeat,” Eyewash, Brooklyn, NY
“Gothic Distress,” Trans Hudson Gallery, NYC
“Canny,” Art Projects International, SoHo, NYC
“Machine,” Andreas Schluter Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
“Fun House,” E.S.Vandam Gallery, Soho, NYC.
“Sauce IV,” Brooklyn, NY
“Live Art,” Art Projects International, Soho, NYC.
“Page 4,” 450 Broadway Gallery, NYC. Also curated “Page 9”.
“Group Show,” TZArt and Co., Soho, NYC
“Dyad,” Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
“Images Du Futur,” International Exhibition, Montreal.
“Fiction And Experience,” Gallery Korea, NYC.
“Selections, Southern Sculpture,” Woodruff Art Center, Atlanta, GA
“Putt Modernism,” Artist’s Space, NYC and SECCA, NC.
“Florida’s Finest,” touring show: Center for Contemporary Art in North Miami, Capitol Gallery in Tallahassee.

Information Graphics, Sandra Renden, Taschen Publishing,
(Illus. Maciunas Learning Machines – Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, Springer Vienna)
Art and Text, Nadine Monem and Dave Beech, Black Dog Press, London (Illus.)
Twice Drawn, Ian Berry and Jack Shear, Eds. Delmonico Books (Illus.)
BOMB Magazine, “Downtown Body,” poster project and series of interviews
Useful Pictures, University of Chicago, “Mapping the Travails of Autonomous Art,” authored article with five diagrams

The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painting and Sculpture
Prix de Rome
Installation/New Media “Bessie” Award, New York Dance and Performance Awards Committee and Dance Theater Workshop
New York Foundation for the Arts, New Media Fellowship Jerome Foundation, Sculpture
Emerging Artist Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park
New York Foundation for the Arts, Sculpture Fellowship
Pollock Krasner Grant
Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award for Sculpture
Goodman Award for Art and Technology
Florida State Visual Arts Fellowship

SPACES, Cleveland, OH
Civitella Ranieri, Umbria, Italy
Vermont Studio Center
Guest Artist Program, North Rhein Westphalia, Dusseldorf, Kunstlerverein Malkasten
Farpath, Dijon, France
Art/Omi International Artist’s Residency
Longwood Cyber Residency, Bronx Council on the Arts
Art in General East European Residency Program

Lang, Joel. “Performance architecture at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield,” ctpost, March 26
Kurchanova, Natasha. “The Armory Show 2018,” studio international, March 25
Eckardt, Stephanie. “The Most-Instagrammed Art of Armory Week 2018, from Evaporating Clouds to $1.5 Million TV Sets,” W Magazine, March 10
Hankin, Alexander Mason. “Art Adventures: The Best and Most Instagramable of the Armory Show,” Philadelphia Style, March 8
Reynolds, Janet. “Your Turn, My Turn, Our Turn,” The Take Magazine, November 21
Block, Annie. “Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley Give New Meaning to ‘Artists-in-Residence,’” Interior Design,
November 14
“Performance art at The Aldrich,” Westfair Online, November 9
Hawthorne, Christopher. “Architecture catches the acting bug,” Los Angeles Times, June 29
Davidson, Cynthia. “Balance of Power: Cynthia Davidson on ReActor,” Artforum, April 2017
Brody, David. “A Machine For Living In: ReActor at Art Omi,” Artcritical, January 2017
Neilson, Laura. “Two Artists Built a Spinning House, and Then Moved In,” The New York Times, August 2016
Kalinovski, Roman. “Library of Babel: Ward Shelley’s Complex Taxonomies at Pierogi,” Artcritical, May 2016
Smith, Roberta. “The Lower East Side as Petri Dish,” NY Times, April 2016.
Rivers Ryan, Tina. “Ward Shelley,” Artforum, April 2016
Schwendener, Martha. “Chasing a Dream and an Unalloyed Ethos,” The New York Times, April 2014
Lynch, Marley. “BK Performance Artists to Live in This Big Hamster Wheel for Ten Days,” Time Out NY, February 2014
Shuster, Robert. “Village Voice Best In Show: Ward Shelley at Pierogi,” The New York Times, March 2012
“Critic’s pick: Top 5 Shows Feb 16–22,” Time Out New York, Feb 16–22, 2012
Howard, Christopher. “I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me,” Artforum, 2011
Wetzler, Rachel. “ A Populist Attack on the Art World Pulls Punches,” Hyperallergic, March 10 2011
Johnson, Paddy. “Williamsburg2000 Opens at art 101,” Art Fag City, March 14 2011
Rastogi, Nina. “Interview with “History of Sience Fiction” artist Ward Shelley,” Slate, March 14 2011
Miranda, Carolina. “Biting the Hand That Feeds Them,” ARTnews, December 6, 2011
Roux, Carolina. “Dissenters transform the art showcase,” The Financial Times, November 26, 2010
Maine, Stephen. “David Shapiro: Pierogi,” Art In America, May 2009
Johnson, Ken. “The Sleeper Experiment,” The New York Times, April 24, 2009
Foumberg, Jason, “Slightly Unbalanced,” Frieze, Issue 115, May 2008
Saltz, Jerry. “The Biggest Picture,” The Village Voice, February 1, 2007
Schmerler, Sarah. “Work In Progress,” Time Out New York, Issue 553: May 4–10, 2006 (llus)
Baker, R.C. “Best in Show: Spring at Last,” The Village Voice, April 5, 2006
Volk, Gregory. “Big Brash Borough,” Art in America, September 2004. Pp 93-97, (Illus)
Schmerler, Sarah. “Ward Shelley at Pierogi,” Art in America, May 2004 (Illus)
Cotter, Holland. “Sampling Brooklyn, Keeper of Eclectic Flames,” The New York Times, January 23, 2004
Schwendener, Martha. “Ward Shelley: Pierogi,” Artforum, April 2004 (Illus)
Heuer, Megan. “Ward Shelley: We Have Mice,” The Brooklyn Rail, February 2004 (Illus)
“Artist Takes Mouse as Model,” Artnet News, January 20, 2004
Smith, Roberta. “The Art and Artists of the Year,” The New York Times, December 28, 2003
Vine, Richard. Report from China: The Wild, Wild East,” Art in America, Sept 2003 (Illus)
Powhida, William. “Exit Biennial: The Reconstruction, Exit Art,” The Brooklyn Rail, June–July 2003
Schmerler, Sarah. “Street Selections: the Drawing Center,” Time Out New York, Issue 398,
May 15–22, 2003, by
“Ward Shelley: Decade,” The New Yorker, May 12, 2003 (Illus)
Garden Castro, Jan. “Globe-Miami-Island,” Sculpture, Vol. 22, No. 2, March 2003 (Illus)
Perra, Daniele. “Enactments of the Self,” Tema Celeste, March 2003. P112
Schwabsky, Barry. “Enactments of the Self,” Artforum, Feb 2003 (Illus)
“Site Specifics ’02,” The New York Times, July 6, 2002
Hongman, Ana. “Brooklyn NYC, Ana Hongman celebrates New York’s new vibrant art scene,”
Contemporary, May 2002 (Illus)
Volk, Gregory. “Ward Shelley at Pierogi,” Art in America, Feb 2002 (Illus)
Caniglia, Julie. “Mir2,” Artforum, February 2002 (Illus)
Dannatt, Adrian. “Brooklyn!,” Flash Art, November–December 2001
Cotter, Holland. “Mir2,” The New York Times, Nov 9, 2001 (Illus)
Richard, Frances. “Ward Shelley at Pierogi Gallery,” Artforum On-Line, Sept, 2001
Ortiz, Ori. “The Cube: Ward Shelley,” The Brooklyn Rail, September 7–October 8, 2001 (Illus)
Rivoire, Annick. “Flesh and Bits,” Liberation, March 24, 2000
Euler, Anneliese. “Kletternder Toaster, rollende Ölfässer,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nr 261, November 9, 1999 (Illus)
A.B. “Von Woodstock zur Gentechnik,” Stadt Aschaffenburg, November 1999 (Illus)
T.I.B. “Wenn Metallfässer anfangen zu rempeln,” Recklinghausen Zeitung, No 218, September 18, 1999
E.L.L. “Fässen rollen durchs Haus,” Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ), No 218, Sept. 18, 1999
Suhr, Von Constanze. “Die unfreiwillig komische Wichtigkeit,” Der Tagesspiegel, July 9, 1999, Nr. 16 746
Lützow, Gunnar. “Plattform auf Reisen,” Berliner Morgenpost, July 4, 1999
Friebe, Holm. “Treptower Lava-Spiel,” Berliner Zeitung, No 152, July 3-4, 1999
Braun, Alexander. “Ward Shelley: Voyage Platform,” Kunstforum International, No. 144, March–April, 1999
Schmerler, Sarah. Ward Shelley and Lynn Mullins,” Time Out New York, Issue 167, December 3–10, 1998
Smith, Roberta. “Brooklyn Haven for Art Heats Up,” The New York Times, November 6, 1998
Mirapaul, Matthew. “Tracking a Voyage of 600 Feet,” The New York Times online, September 24, 1998
Turner, Elisa. “An artsy link between Brooklyn, Miami Beach,” The Miami Herald, September 18, 1998 (Illus)
Jast, Frank. “Installationen mit hintersinnigem Humor,” Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, August 9, 1997
Schiff, Hajo. “Verschlagener Bodenstaubsauger,” Kultur / Taz Hamburg, December 7-8, 1996
“Aschenbecher versucht aufzustehen–vergeblich,” Ruhr Nachrichten Dortmunsd, June 21, 1995
Schütz, Marco. “Fässer, die von selber rollen,” Frankfurter Allgemeine, 1995
Kampmann, Matthias. “Toaster spielt Clown,’ Westfälischer Auzeiger Hammer Freitung, June 30, 1995
Potthoff, Von Jürgen. “Die vergeblichen Mühen des Toasters,” Westfälische Rundshau, Dortmund,
June 21, 1995
Sira. “Objekte spielen mit dem Thema Vergeblichkeit,” No 1141, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ),
No 141, June 21, 1995
Seward, Keith. “Putt-Modernism,” Artforum, November 1992
Rose, Matthew. “Playing a Round in TriBeCa,” The New York Times, August 1992
“Tee Time,” The New Yorker, August 3, 1992

The Museum of Modern Art (NY, NY)
Whitney Museum of American Art (NY, NY)
Brooklyn Art Museum (Brooklyn, NY)
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, TBA21 (Vienna, Austria)
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art (Brooklyn, NY)
Deutsche Bank (NY, NY)
Hood Museum at Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Baltimore Museum (Baltimore, MD)