Jamaican-born artist Nari Ward often works with the detritus of the world and fashions it into installations and assemblages that are sobering reflections on society’s socio-economic and racial shortcomings and the fear and despair they beget. Ward has an uncanny ability to coax meaning out of materiality. Displacement, poverty, and racism are the fault-lines around which Ward operates. To that end, a room-full of discarded baby strollers becomes a searing indictment on the appalling plight of homelessness; broken furniture an emblem of gentrification and displacement; and an assemblage of charred baseball bats a symbol of broken dreams. Folk traditions, such as quilting and story-telling and the spiritual cure these ritualistic disciplines bequeath, are particularly important touchstones of Ward’s practice. In the monumentous sculpture “We the People” (2011), the first three words of the pre-amble to the US Constitution are spelled out with hundreds of colored shoelaces which renders this absolute manifest blurry and unclear. It is a brilliant attempt to repurpose the familiar in order to expose its alien. At the New Museum through May 26.